Marie’s Story | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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Marie’s Story

Marie holding a bowling ball about to swing, at lawn bowls

An avid lawn bowler for more than 20 years, Lewisham resident Marie McWilliams was determined to not let failing eyesight due to Macular Degeneration keep her from the green.

Marie walking home from bowls with her cane

After hearing a radio interview about the specialist low vision services  offered by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Marie, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday, decided to seek our help. An orthoptist and specialist optometrist at our Low Vision Clinic in Chatswood assessed Marie and recommended a monocular could enable her to continue playing her beloved lawn bowls.

While her team mates provide support with verbal directions, the monocular’s telescopic lens allows Marie to see the jack on the green, so she knows where to aim her bowl. For more practical tasks like making phone calls, reading recipes and deciphering the bus timetable, Marie has been equipped with a hand-held magnifier.

One of our Orientation and Mobility Instructors has also taught Marie how to use a red and white identification cane which indicates Marie has a vision impairment. This can be helpful in the community when crossing roads and hailing buses.

“Without these aids I would not be able to live my life and do what I want to do because my eyesight is not what it was 20 years ago,” says Marie, who travels independently to her local bowling club, her seniors exercise class and the supermarket and does all her own cooking.

Guide Dogs’ free low vision services can teach you how to use your remaining vision effectively, so you can  get back to doing the daily activities you love  – reading, watching TV or visiting friends.

To find out how you could benefit from Guide Dogs’ low vision services, book a free assessment today.