June’s story

June with one of her paintings

You can help change the lives of New Zealanders like June who are living with sight loss.

Despite leading a busy career, June’s unwavering focus has always been on family and friendships. June’s 60-year marriage to husband Des stands as a testament to that and together they lovingly raised four daughters. June now has ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

June and Des
Des was June’s rock for 60 years

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. In 2011, macular degeneration took hold of June’s eyesight, leaving her frustrated and worried about how she would cope with a busy life and decreasing vision. However, Des was right there, steadfast in his support for June.

Shortly after June’s diagnosis, devastating news awaited as Des was diagnosed with cancer.

June’s failing eyesight and Des’s condition forced the couple to leave their rural home for a place closer to Auckland city and the medical support they so desperately needed.

Tragically, having only recently settled into their new home, Des passed away. This left June completely heartbroken and worried she’d lost her independence. A real lack of purpose crept into her life but the Blind Foundation’s dedicated staff were able to offer crucial guidance and support, right when June needed it most.

“If it wasn’t for the people at the Blind Foundation, I don’t know where I would be. The hole was getting bigger and deeper.”

When June first made contact with us, she talked things through with Katy, a Blind Foundation counsellor. Katy listened as June poured out her grief and she journeyed alongside June as she slowly discovered that life would never be the same, but it was going to be different and enjoyable in new ways. June mentioned that “…more than anyone in my life, she is just an incredible person, Katy in many ways, kept me sane.”

June playing petanque
June playing petanque with her friends

June now enjoys fun activities with friends and is adapting to new challenges like getting around independently on public transport, absorbing information through audio books and recognising money by touch.

Her future’s looking very bright indeed.

Currently, we only reach one in three New Zealanders who need support with sight loss and that’s why your generosity is so vital. Your donations really do make a massive difference for people like June. Please give what you can today to help ensure no one has to face this sometimes frightening walk alone.

Will you please donate today?