28-year-old Ocean was born with an eye condition called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. She has only five per cent sight and can’t see further than a metre.
“At first it was very scary and daunting to hear that I’d eventually go blind,” Ocean says.
But with ongoing support from the Blind Foundation, Ocean isn’t letting low vision get in her way. This remarkable young woman ran the 2017 Auckland Marathon with her fiancé Craig, and together they raised over $12,000 for the Blind Foundation.
“My mum always encouraged me to give anything and everything a go. I don’t let my eye condition hold me back,” she says.
And the Blind Foundation has been there for Ocean every step of the way.
“To know that through the Blind Foundation I can still play sport is awesome,” she says. “Before I didn’t really like playing sports because I couldn’t see what I was doing. It feels really great to be part of something.
And knowing there is a lot of adaptive technology and equipment out there which I can use to help is fantastic.” With her trusty guide dog JJ by her side, there is no limit to what Ocean can do.
“I was matched with JJ two years ago. She has changed my life so much.
She got me motivated to get into fundraising and running the marathon. She gives me confidence.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supports the Blind Foundation. You’ve helped me keep my confidence and independence.”
Watch a video that shows Ocean’s amazing journey below.