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Locals urged to support Give a Cane Campaign by SA Guide-Dogs Association

This campaign aims to raise R550 000 to buy 500 white canes to change the lives of the association’s visually impaired clients.

Leanne Hunt began losing her sight when she was about 10 years old due to juvenile macular degeneration, a condition of the retina caused by a genetic mutation.

It is characterised by a loss of central vision followed by a fragmentation of the peripheral field.

She managed to go about her life without help until she was about 30.

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She then approached the SA Guide-Dogs Association for an assistance dog.

After having three guide dogs, Leanne’s circumstances changed.

Leanne shared a memory of when she travelled overseas to visit her granddaughter, and her white cane became her best friend.

Before she left, she contacted the association for white cane training.

“The orientation and mobility instructor visited me at home and trained me in our driveway and on streets in our neighbourhood.

“The cane extends the reach of my hand to ground level, making it possible to feel two paces ahead,” said Leanne.

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She shared that her most impactful moment was when she was on holiday with her family.

“We went to a cottage in the mountains, and I had no idea of the place’s layout. I asked my niece to show me around the house so I could get my bearings, which took a matter of minutes.

“Then I unfolded my cane and told her I would find my way around from there. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made to be able to move around without having to ask someone else to accompany me.

“I even walked down to the dam and onto the jetty on my own, which made me feel more independent than I’ve felt for years,” said Leanne.

Leanne has been a supporter of the association over the years and has also donated to the current Give a Cane Campaign.

This campaign aims to raise R550 000 to buy 500 white canes to change the lives of the association’s visually impaired clients.

“We are not victims of our disability. We want our independence so we can strike out and follow our interests wherever they might lead,” said Leanne.

With a donation of R50 or more, residents will enable the Give a Cane Campaign to continue its vital work in ensuring that more clients of any age can receive training and assistive devices.

Visit www.guidedog.org.za to learn more about the campaign.

Alternatively, email NicoleB@guidedog.org.za to discuss ideas or learn more about how to help the SA Guide-Dogs Association.

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The association is a registered NPO and PBO (public benefit organisation) that relies on the public’s generosity for donations.

This status also allows for the issuance of 18A tax certificates for donations.

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