I was diagnosed "legally blind" 30 years ago. As you can imagine, it was devastating news. At the time, I could still see. But the doctors told me that I would gradually lose my peripheral vision and eventually not be able to see at all. The doctors were right. Today, my sight is entirely gone. But my life is as full and joyous as it has ever been. I have a new set of eyes through my best friend, Freida. Freida is a wonderful yellow Labrador Guide Dog.
When I first thought of going blind, I pictured myself cut off from the world. But I don't have to stay at home, mourning the loss of my sight. I can be like anybody else. I can do anything I want. With Freida by my side, I can tackle anything that comes my way.
I can still remember when Freida and I graduated. It was the beginning of a new era for me. The level of trust I had to put in a dog was a little bit scary at first. But now, several years later, I am more confident than I have ever been in my life.
Some of my friends think it's strange when I tell them that Freida is a part of me. But it's true. She and I are one. And with Freida by my side, I can live my life as I meant to live it.
Right now, there are hundreds of people that could benefit from this program… and enjoy the comfort of safety and companionship that I have come to rely on. I want to do all I can to spread the word so that others can experience the joy I feel.
Freida isn't just my Guide Dog—she's the next best thing to having my sight back. Life is meant to be lived. I want every person with vision loss to feel that kind of confidence. I want every one to know that losing your sight does not have to mean losing your passion for living.
Guide Dogs for the Blind gave me that gift. Won't you please help them do the same for hundreds of others? This is one of those times when it is not an exaggeration to say that your generosity can change someone's life. It can. It did for me.
I'm so very grateful for the generousity of caring people like you who lend your support to Guide Dogs for the Blind. I hope you will renew your commitment by sending a special gift today. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
Vickie Kennedy and Freida