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It’s estimated almost 70 Australians a day will be diagnosed with a severe vision condition by 2030. With your help, we will be able to provide the support to meet this growing need. Make a tax deductible donation today.

A black Labrador Guide Dog in harness laying on the ground.

Meet Natasha

Natasha knew it was time to seek help when her vision loss kept declining.  

“One day, I collided with a woman at the station. I couldn’t see her. I was left shocked and devastated. That’s when I knew I needed help.”  

Natasha didn’t see the woman in front of her. 

She couldn’t.  

The only thing Natasha can see in front of her is a dark, empty area or blind spot. 

Natasha has macular dystrophy, a genetic condition that, for no apparent reason, triggers the degradation of the retinal cells in an area of your eye called the macular that controls your central vision. If it is damaged, you cannot see what is right in front of you.  

As she grew older, Natasha’s eyesight worsened, and her low vision impacted her life every day in many ways. It means that she can’t have a driver’s licence and drive a car. Going up and down steps is difficult because she can’t see them, and as a result, she has had several falls. 

And then Natasha ran into the woman at the station, “And that’s when I thought I have to do something. This cannot be.” said Natasha. 

Client Natasha sits on a chair, smiling, with her black Labrador Guide Dog Nirvana sitting in between her legs.

Seeking help

Natasha knew it was time to seek help; she could no longer manage alone, that’s when she turned to Guide Dogs.

When Natasha sought help from Guide Dogs, her priority was to learn to use a long cane so she could safely travel to and from work in busy crowds. Natasha explains “I started going in for mobility training and using the long cane, and I was using that for quite a few years.”

As Natasha’s vision loss continued, her life became an increasing challenge, and her needs changed.

She knew, for her, it was time for a Guide Dog.

That’s when Nirvana came into Natasha’s life.  

A perfect match

Since having Nirvana, going to work in the city is now much easier because as Natasha explains “Nirvana she’s great with people. She dodges and nudges them out of the way. And she takes me straight up to crossings. Escalators in the city are no problem.”

And thankfully, Natasha hasn’t had any more collisions with other pedestrians.

But here’s the thing; it takes about two years and more than $50,000 to breed, raise and train one Guide Dog.

Looking back over the eighteen months since she arrived, Natasha realises just how much better her life has been with Nirvana. “Since having Nirvana, I feel more secure.  It’s been a positive experience. I can still do all the things I love; be with the people I love and now I have this wonderful companion too” Natasha says.

Thanks to the support she’s received from Guide Dogs every step of the way,  Natasha lives the life she wants to lead; working, attending music festivals and continuing to pursue her passion – singing in choirs.

But it wouldn’t be possible without you.

Black Labrador Guide Dog, Nirvana, sits in harness in front of a beach image background.

Every year in Australia more and more people are affected by low vision or blindness.

Within the next six years, you, someone you know, or a loved one may be affected.

With your support, Guide Dogs can empower people to live the life they choose. Your gift to Guide Dogs can help change someone’s life.

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