By: Melissa Hudson, Chapter Coordinator & Tracy Boyd, Mommies With Guides Alumni Chapter President
As promised in a previous blog post, here is an overview/introduction to our newest Guide Dogs for the Blind Alumni Chapter. They were unanimously voted in by the Alumni Association Board of Directors at our last Board meeting on December 7, 2013. Congratulations and welcome to the "family"!
Mommies with Guides is the newest Alumni Chapter with Guide Dogs for the Blind. We are located in the Greater Metropolitan area in beautifully, green Portland, Oregon. We meet once a month via conference call and at least four times a year at mutually decided upon locations. Currently, Mommies with Guides is comprised of women who are: all guide dog handlers and mothers (some are married and some are single), but by no means is this chapter an exclusively a "women's only chapter". We welcome and strongly encourage: dads, grandparents both male and female, as well as those who are blind and considering having children to join our chapter.
Mommies with Guides has provided a source of support for its members, not only for the trials and tribulations of everyday life but rather, the nuts and bolts of keeping the proverbial wheel of life in motion. This chapter has provided a platform where our children can bond and build friendships with other children who have parents who are blind. Members can share challenges, give advice or just lend an empathetic ear to things like: relationships, child rearing, eye diseases, pain management and even guide dog concerns and joys.
Most of us can say we know a blind person, some can even say they know a guide dog handler, some even know a blind mom and/or dad, but how many people really know more then one blind parent who has a guide dog? We only really knew one other than ourselves before meeting these extraordinary ladies. We are more than a group of blind, inspirational, guide dog using mommies, we are bound by the ties we share. Our blindness does not define us–we are women, we are mommies, we are one hundred percent partners to those we love and we are life changers all through the use of a guide dog!
The founders of this Alumni Chapter are four phenomenal women: Rhonda Patrick (Treasurer), Kelsey Sparks (Secretary), Joy Ross (Vice President) and Tracy Boyd (President). Please "Like" our Facebook page "Mommies with Guides" and join our Alumni Chapter - we'd love to have you!