The cause

While things are getting back to normal in our lives, for a person with blindness or low vision, feeling isolated from the people around you can be a part of daily life.

Brittnee and Seeing Eye Dog Kuma

Brittnee sitting on couch with Seeing Eye Dog Kuma
When Brittnee met her Seeing Eye Dog Kuma, her world changed in ways that she didn’t think was possible again.

Diagnosed as a type one diabetic at the age of 3, Brittnee rebelled against the diagnosis during her formative years which led to ongoing challenges with her vision. She knew diabetes could lead to blindness but thought it only happened to older people. 

So when she woke up one morning completely blind, she knew her life would change forever. As a passionate and talented hairdresser, she would no longer be able to practice. She couldn’t even make it to her bedroom door by herself. She called her boss that day and was forced into retirement. 

With Vision Australia’s assistance, Brittnee found a job within two months of leaving hairdressing. She started working for a social enterprise which taught people about the experience of vision loss and blindness. It was here that Brittnee was able to talk to others who were blind or had low vision and was introduced to Seeing Eye Dogs.

However this was a big decision for both Brittnee and her partner as it was a big lifestyle change, having previously relied on him for support and as her guide.

After waiting 1.5 years for her partner to be ready, they made the application for a Seeing Eye Dog and in December 2019 the life changing call came. Brittnee was to be matched with Seeing Eye Dog Kuma.

Today Kuma doesn't leave Brittnee's side and pushes her further, keeping her moving. There are some days I don’t want to leave the house but Kuma is impatient and bumps her head into my leg as if to say, “we need to get out, to go see people and explore”. Having a Seeing Eye Dog has opened up her world to a range of different things she could now do again. 

"It's amazing to have a companion with you at all times. It is so worth the wait and to go through the matching process."


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