This year’s City2Surf will have a least one special tandem effort, with Lucia set to take on the annual event with the help of her Seeing Eye Dog Aura.
The 14 kilometre event starts in the centre of Sydfney, before ending at the world-famous Bondi Beach.
Competing in this year’s event will fulfil a dream of Lucia’s that dates back to before she was left with just 10 per cent vision as a result of retina dystrophy and cataracts.
“Before my sight loss it was one of my bucket list items to compete in the City2Surf. Back then I lived about six hours away from Sydney so it was always a case of ‘Oh I’ll do this next year,’” Lucia said.
“Now I live much closer and I can use it as a way to give back to the community that has helped me so much,” she said.
While Lucia’s vision was never perfect, it took a hit at around age 40, deteriorating suddenly from around 50 per cent to the 10 per cent she has now. It had a significant impact on her life, both physically and mentally.
“I found I was losing my confidence to go out and leave the house, I wanted to be alone. I’m a very strong independent person who will ask for help if I need it but want to try first. I hated that this was affecting my life, losing my confidence and independence.”
Three years ago, Aura came into her life and was just the thing to kick Lucia back into high gear.
“Aura is a fast walker. I used to be very into exercise and I found her the perfect match to get back into it again. I’m so lucky to have her.
“We did an event last year that was 12 kilometres, City2Surf is the next step of that journey. Aura has really gotten me back into the community again.”
Aura has been a relief not only for Lucia, but for those around her that love her as well.
“Being able to walk to work and appointments by myself, being able to catch the train, I’m back to living my life again. It also affords peace of mind for my family. They got their independence back and don’t have to worry about me.”
Lucia has started a fundraising effort for her City2Surf run that can be found HERE, all donations raised will be going towards Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs.