After witnessing a new Guide Dog graduate complete its training, Colin decided it was time for him to begin a new journey too. That was almost six years ago, and the sprightly 81-year-old hasn't looked back since. At the age of 25, Colin contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. In the last 10 years his vision has deteriorated to about 10%. As his sight got worse, Colin realised it was affecting his quality of life and contacted Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
Getting out and about is important to Colin, so he started training with an Orientation & Mobility Instructor to get around his local area using a long cane. As his confidence increased, he chose to supplement his travel with a free GPS program. One of the remarkable things about Colin is that he had never used a computer or mobile phone prior to his GPS training. But he has taken it all in his stride.
Colin now travels regularly on Sydney's ferries and finds GPS technology useful for calculating routes, locating the ferry terminal and identifying his bus stop. It has also given him the freedom and confidence to travel to unfamiliar places.
"Guide Dogs has given so much to me over the past five years. If it wasn't for Guide Dogs I would have wasted my life away, just sitting at home" said Colin when asked what impact Guide Dogs’ services have had on his life.
Due to the overwhelming impact Colin has experienced through his free training with Guide Dogs, Colin has recently decided to give something back to the organisation that he regards as “a life changer”. Colin has kindly decided to leave to Guide Dog a part of his estate in his will.
Through this generous bequest, Colin hopes that “more people who are blind or vision impaired will be able to get the help that they need, free of charge”.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT would like thank Colin for this very thoughtful gift as we continue to help him to live a safe and independent life.
Did you know that one in every two Guide Dogs is paid for by gifts in wills! Find out more.