I am participating in the Gran Fondo tour for The Seeing Eye®. My captain and I will be riding the Medio Fondo which is 63 miles. This tour promises a lot of hills and challenges throughout the entire ride, but it's for a very important cause.
This year the tour is especially bittersweet. As some of you know, in December of 2012, my dog guide Pauline was diagnosed with cancer, and on July 20th, we were forced to say good-bye. This was the most horrible decision in my life, and was even more heartbreaking because it was as result of the best decision – getting her.
By way of telling you how I ended up here, I began losing my sight as a child. Since then, I’ve visited many schools for the blind, from Massachusetts to Virginia and West Virginia, to North and South Carolina, Colorado and Arizona. I’ve attended camps and beach homes and competed in sports leagues for the blind, and appreciated the services of many agencies and organizations. I’m so passionate about the field of blindness that I’ve made it my career. Each of these things has changed my life immensely, from simply obtaining drivers and readers for school books and mail, to meeting lifelong friends and role models, to obtaining many forms of training. These experiences have transformed me from a frightened and angry young child, to a strong and proud woman.
Among all these agencies and organizations, The Seeing Eye® was the single most influential factor in my life. (To learn more about The Seeing Eye, visit www.SeeingEye.org.) With dog guide Pauline at my side, I obtained the confidence to not only travel across the country for college, but also to have visited and explored 26 states and 10 countries. Additionally, Pauline gave me the confidence to not just perform the expected, but to reach further and obtain the unbelievable.
This year marks 22 years since I began losing my sight, and 13 as a dog guide handler. I loved my dog and appreciated the independence and dignity she provided me every day.
Please contribute by donating any amount. I personally am matching all sponsor donations, with a goal of $10,000. All donations are tax deductible. If I reach my goal, I will be awarded the ability to name a future new Seeing Eye puppy! I hope to name the puppy in some way after my dog’s name or one of her nicknames.
Your donation would help show my love and appreciation towards one of the most meaningful organizations in my life.