Have you ever seen a visually impaired person in public and didn’t know how to react, or felt awkward? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to ‘see’ through the eyes of their guide dog? I know I have.
Here is a favorite story of mine! This story is so inspiring!
Melissa & Camry!
Imagine for a brief moment that you are in your late 20s and realize that you are going blind. For Melissa Hudson, this is not just an imaginary scenario—it’s her life story.
Being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at age three, Melissa was at risk of losing her eyesight from a very young age. In the coming years, she slowly began to realize the impact that this diagnosis would have on her. As Melissa had to sit closer and closer to the whiteboard in her college courses and could no longer see her friends waving to her across campus, things began to take a turn. As her vision continued to deteriorate, her doctor told her: “Melissa, you need to face the facts, you’re going blind.” She was just 27 years old.
The hardest step after hearing this shocking news was accepting the use of a cane to help Melissa get around. When she finally accepted her new reality,Melissa was ready for the chance to bring her old self back—and her first step was to apply to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Now on her third guide dog—a beautiful black Labrador named Camry—Melissa is an entirely different person. She says that with Camry, her “invisibility clock has been lifted.” Her independence and mobility have been enhanced, and new-found freedom shines through her countless adventures with Camry. The two have traveled to three continents, including North America, Europe, and Asia.Even more importantly, through the highest of highs and lowest of lows, Camry is always by Melissa’s side. From navigating through the chaotic streets of Los Angeles to dodging skateboarders, Camry and Melissa tackle each new obstacle like professionals. Together, the two are ready to conquer the world.
Here are also a few photos of Guide Dogs for the Blind’s amazing dogs in action! Credit: Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Self Disclosure: I participated in the Natural Balance and Guide Dogs for the Blind for their National Guide Dog Month campaign and received free products to facilitate this post. The above story of Melissa & Camry was shared with permission. Photos and info was provided.