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"When I lost my sight, it happened when I was in Wellington doing a beauty workshop for 200 women…I didn’t know where I was, it was awful."

This was the frightening moment that Elaine, a bubbly, hard-working single mother of two teenagers, suddenly lost her sight at age 38.

Elaine, smiling at work

Please donate today to support people like Elaine.

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“It was a really awful, dark time,” Elaine explained, of the bleak months following her loss of sight: “I asked myself, now what do I do? What do I do?”

Elaine’s reaction is hardly surprising given that in a matter of weeks, she went from being a high-flying L’Oreal makeup artist and “self-confessed socialite” to housebound for eight months with blurry, kaleidoscopic vision.

But you can’t keep this feisty Scottish lady down for long. With the help of our professional, caring staff and the kind-heartedness of people like you, Elaine was able to rebuild her life.

"There is hope and there is definitely help" - Elaine

Thanks to the support of our caring donors, Elaine has had a springboard for recovery, growth and independence.

Every week, at least 20 people like Elaine register with the Blind Foundation, and your donation today will give them every chance of becoming a success story too.

“I feel like a new and improved me. I’m more confident.”

With guidance and assistance from our team, Elaine’s initial loss has turned into something very special. Her zest for life has returned, along with an irrepressible enthusiasm, energy and a fantastic new job as a research analyst.

Being there when it counts

“The counselling really did help” – when Elaine first lost her sight, our counsellors were right there to help her come to terms with the big changes and provide comfort through those initial times of deep personal darkness.

Living a full life

Thanks to your support, our passionate and professional team has helped Elaine adjust to everyday life, re-learning simple tasks like using the stairs, making her morning coffee and applying her makeup – just like she used to for L’Oreal: “The Blind Foundation staff taught me that life can go on without sight.”

Freedom to move

With the help of our mobility team, Elaine can now expertly navigate life with her cane. With the kind of wit only Elaine can get away with, she adds: “I’m so grateful for my cane… if people can’t get over it, then they’re just not worth knowing.” 

Will you give today?

Kind donations from people like you have given Elaine the tools to turn her life around: "My journey of hope and recovery started when I first met with the Blind Foundation."

There are many, many more people who need the kind of care and support Elaine has received and we rely on the generosity of people like you to make that possible.

Please give whatever you can today, because you make all the difference.

  • Your $45 could help a Blind Foundation counsellor give caring and professional help to someone like Elaine, when they face the often overwhelming changes that can come with sudden sight loss.
  • Your $87 can give Kiwis who have lost their vision the tools and skills to lead an independent and fulfilling life. These tools helped Elaine to get her new job.
  • Your $130 can help our Blind Foundation recreation team to organise activities like hiking. Elaine gained so much confidence from meeting other people living with sight loss and achieving the challenge of climbing Rangitoto.

Please donate online or call 0800 DONATE (0800 366 283).