Guide Dogs of America Give Visually Impaired Hope

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Imagine going from having almost perfect vision, to losing your sight overnight.

“I woke up one morning and could not see.” Teresa Blevins said.

After almost two weeks of waiting for a doctor’s appointment, Teresa Blevins finally found out what happened.

“The blood veins had burst.” Blevins said.

Doctors diagnosed her with diabetic retinopathy, a disease that will never allow her to have perfect vision again.

“I went through an entire year of surgeries and the final day he told me they could not do anything else, I was like, well I can because I knew about guide dogs of America.” Blevins said.

Years before Teresa went blind, she and her husband always donated to this organization, not knowing one day she would rely on it.

“They flew me to Sylmar California. They trained me for 28 days and paired me with liberty.” Blevins said.

So while doctors seemed to think Teresa would be limited because of her vision, Liberty gave her freedom.

“You can be mobile and independent and have the confidence to go out and do everything that you never realized you could do.” Blevins said.

The guide dog's main goal is to be eyes for the person it’s helping.

“She helped me to cross the streets, help me to walk on curbs and helped me to find empty seats.” Blevins said.

Liberty has been trained to be aware of future technology, like smart cars, or people texting and not paying attention to where they are walking.

Adam Beasley volunteer guide dogs of America
“There’s definitely different training involved. All the time we upgrade the way our dogs are trained.” Guide dogs of America volunteer Adam Beasley said.

“It’s amazing how she looks out for my safety.” Blevins said.

And even though Teresa is taking on the world through a different view, she says she knows she can do it thanks to liberty.

Both Blevins and Beasley want to bring awareness to this organization and get the word out to people who may need a seeing eye dog.
If you would like to donate, you can do so through the united way.

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