Our Stories

Cultivating Resilience: Marie’s Story

2 April 2024

Client Stories

Blind Low Vision NZ client, Marie in her garden.

Marie, an 80-year-old from Auckland, has devoted her life to service, education, and a passion for genealogy. Despite the challenges posed by significant vision loss due to eye conditions developed later in life, Marie’s determination, coupled with support from the Blind Low Vision NZ team and her friends and family, has enabled her to maintain her independence and continue engaging in her interests.

Marie’s professional life was marked by a long career in nursing. After retirement, she pursued further education, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and Ethnomusicology from the University of Auckland. Her commitment to community service, notably in dementia care, reflects her lifelong dedication to helping others. Over the last four years, Marie has been part of a University of Auckland program called ‘Lets talk to locals”, which was of particular importance during COVID-19 lockdowns when students were isolated overseas.

The turn in Marie’s journey came with a series of eye conditions that started with a minor cat scratch and led to narrow angle glaucoma and total retinal vein occlusion. This progression resulted in a significant vision loss.

Despite these challenges, Marie’s background in nursing prepared her to face her vision loss with resilience. Recognizing the need for support, she found Blind Low Vision NZ, a moment that marked a new beginning for her. With the support of her friends and family, Marie accessed a range of Blind Low Vision NZ services that improved her quality of life. Audiobooks and an Alexa device enabled her to enjoy literature and continue her genealogical research. A Merlin magnifier and mobility training, including the use of a cane, helped her navigate her days with more ease. Marie is out in the world, and enjoying nature. “The highlights have been in the Waikato tramping over our family farm; walking lower paths of Mt. Pirongia and a climb up through the bush on Mt. Maungatautari,” said Marie.

Marie’s journey demonstrates her strength and the crucial role of supportive communities in overcoming personal challenges. Marie’s self-determination has not only allowed her to adapt to her vision loss but also to continue living a fulfilling life.


Next :

Hmm, no more results were found, click here to return to all "Our Stories".