Love is a loyal furry sidekick

Steve has only had Sally for a few months.  But he’s’ definitely in love.

“The most stand-out thing about having Sally in my life is her unconditional love.  Sally greets me every morning with a happy wagging tail, a cold wet nose in my face, and insists on our day starting with a cuddle”.

Steve has retinitis pigmentosa “I am classed as being legally blind,” he says.  “At present I have roughly 8 degrees of central vision in both eyes”.

“You give me hope”

Steve can’t imagine life without Blind Low Vision NZ.  His journey with us began 18 years ago when he was first diagnosed.

“I was in a pretty deep dark hole post diagnosis and most definitely on a path to self-destruction,” says Steve. “Blind Low Vision NZ gave me hope.”

“I have received counselling services over the years and will continue to do so.  This service is very useful for me.  Maintenance of my mental health is key.  Steve’s also grateful for the career advice, technical support and mobility training he’s received from Blind Low Vision NZ.

“Most importantly, Erin and the entire National Community Life Enrichment team at Blind Low Vision NZ, the experiences I’ve been blessed to have with this crew, changed my life.  Recreational activities with my fellow blindies, has been pivotal in how I see myself in this world today”.  says Steve.

A new level of confidence

Steve wasn’t sure if he’d have a guide dog. But, he says, “Sally has gifted me a new level of confidence, and on the odd occasion where I’ve opted for the cane over Sally, there is a significant feeling of something missing.  Sally gives me an even greater sense of freedom with her leading the way”.

Thanks to your support, our Guide Dog Trainer Jade, was able to spend three weeks in Nelson with Steve and Sally helping the pair settle in to their partnership together. “It was a momentous occasion bringing Sally into my life, and Jade brought with her knowledge, understanding, compassion and support and her professionalism was exceptional., She deserves legend status!! ” said Steve.

If there’s one thing he wants donors to Blind Low Vision NZ to know it’s this: “I can 100% vouch that your donations change lives”.