Independence is something we all take for granted and, thanks to her brand new four legged companion, Eddie, Kylie Partington from Bayswater is once again able to experience this freedom.
Kylie is legally blind due to the eye condition glaucoma, an hereditary condition in which pressure in one or both eyes increases, and anaridia, a condition where the coloured part of the iris has not developed leading to problems with glare. But, she has not let her vision impairment affect her ability to be independent.
Nine weeks ago Kylie was matched with her second Seeing Eye Dog, a black lab named Eddie.
"Eddie has been amazing, he has given me so much more confidence and independence," said Kylie.
"I used to find that I was able to get around using a white cane but things took longer and were stressful, with Eddie there is none of that," said Kylie.
Seeing Eye Dogs (SED), a division of Vision Australia, matches people like Kylie with specially trained dogs. And, with more and more Australians losing their sight each year, the need for qualified Seeing Eye Dogs is growing rapidly.
"While waiting to get matched with Eddie I went back to using a white cane and that reinforced for me the reason I decided to getting a Seeing Eye Dog, they provide so much freedom," said Kylie.
It costs around $30,000 to train a dog, and Seeing Eye Dogs is keen to recruit more puppy sponsors to support this vital service.
For as little as $25 per month sponsors receive regular updates from their puppy as they progress through their training. To sign up call Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66.
All media enquiries and interviews, phone Megan Bishop on 0438 356 876 or email [email protected].
Combining the skills and resources of several leading blindness organisations to create one national voice, Vision Australia is committed to delivering exceptional and efficient services that open up exciting possibilities for our community. For more information or to support Vision Australia call 1300 84 74 66 or visit www.visionaustralia.org.