Jo can’t imagine life without the Blind Foundation

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and my eyesight began to deteriorate. I was afraid. I was 85, living by myself, and thought I wouldn’t be able to manage.

A friend of mine suggested I join the Blind Foundation. Right from the start they couldn’t do enough for me and they’re like family to me now. Especially their specialists Pauline and Craig.

Jo is pouring water into her tea cup

Pauline’s full of great ideas. She gave me a wee thing for my teacup that squeals when it’s filled just right. She put little bumps on my microwave so I can feel the controls. She gave me a magnifying glass for reading. She even taught me how to cross the road at the lights.

This year, on the morning of my 90th birthday, a bone in my leg shattered and I ended up in hospital. (My birthday party still went ahead, just without me!) After being in hospital for a day, my eyesight got dramatically worse and the doctors said it was because of the shock caused by my leg. I was pretty down.

Craig turned up and he brought me a little radio with headphones so I could listen to my favourite station without disturbing anyone else in my ward. He was so thoughtful. But that’s just typical of everyone from the Blind Foundation – they’ve just gone above and beyond to help me.

Without the Blind Foundation, I’d be lost. I certainly wouldn’t be able to live alone anymore. I just feel so much safer with the support of Craig and Pauline and everyone at the Blind Foundation – especially now that my sight is getting worse. I know they will always be there for me and that nothing is too much for them.

To the Blind Foundation and all its supporters: I’d also like to say thank you. It’s thanks to wonderful people like you that I can still lead a full life. You’re very kind.

Will you donate today so Kiwis like Jo who are losing their sight don’t have to lose their independence too?

Jo with her DAISY player