Don’t lose sight of what’s important this Christmas


“You are going to go blind. You will lose your sight.”

Imagine having to tell your 10-year old son that?  Andrew Williams Mum had to.  He had been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa.

We all have families.  The traditional foundation stones of our community.  Now Andrew has a family of his own.  A wife. Three children. Three cats.  A special dog.  He loves them all.

It was pretty devastating to be told that I was going to go blind.  It was one thing to have limited vision, but quite another to know that even that was going to be lost. Devastating.

He is now a father.  He can’t imagine having to have that conversation with any of his children.   

I am sure you can appreciate how Andrew must have felt when his Mum told him he was going blind, and just how anxious would be about having to have the conversation with his children.  However, you can help people like Andrew adapt to a life without vision by making a gift to support our work.

Life at school was tough also.   

I had to sit at the front and even then, it was hard.  I was always falling over and bumping into things.  Life without sight at school is really a life without relief.

As he grew up, Andrew found comfort in music.  And music has become a major part of his life. Loud music. Rock music.  Metallica. Superjesus. Silverchair.  Attending concerts. Buying clothing. Accumulating records. Remembering lyrics.  Even getting a tattoo.  Music is more of an obsession really. He even learned to play the drums.

I just love it.  The rhythm. The noise.  The vibrations.  It is such a fantastic experience to share, almost visceral for me because darkness and low lighting is not my friend!

Andrew’s sight has been deteriorating for much of his life, and he has only recently had cataracts removed, which has made his remaining sight blurry, and he fears what lies ahead when he eventually loses his vision. 

However, thanks to the RSB, he now has Vegas, his guide dog.  

Vegas has been wonderful.  She is nearly 3 and has reminded me of the energy you need to keep going.  She has renewed me in lots of ways, she has kept me independent and free to travel. To get around the office and at home.

Guide dogs are truly life changing companions.  They provide a level of independence for people like Andrew.  They restore the confidence and quality of life for people without vision.  They become members of the family.  They create opportunities and hope. Your donation will help ensure we can continue to provide guide dogs to transform the life of everyone who needs one.

Families have their heroes too.  Andrew wants to be the best Dad he can be.  Vegas helps him with that.  Vegas offers him the opportunity to fill that role. 

Like every Dad, I want to walk my daughter down the aisle.  I want to be the Dad who can do that.  I hope I can have enough sight left but really,
I probably won’t, but at least with Vegas I know I can do it. 

I am sure you can understand how much this means for Andrew, and his family, so as you would appreciate, nothing can prepare any of us for a life of total darkness. For 136 years, the RSB has supported people who can’t see, to live full and fruitful lives. Your donation will ensure this crucial work continues.

I can no longer imagine what life would be without Vegas.  When I am here at work, when I on the train or when I am at home or even just shopping, she is there to make my life easier.

It costs more than $30,000 to breed, raise and train an RSB Guide Dog like Vegas – and there is a constant need for us to provide more dogs. Your generous donation to the RSB will assist us to continue providing this lifechanging service. 

You can help by donating today