“RSB has helped me see differently. My sight loss is not a disability but my lack of love for myself has been.”
Sight loss can be a visceral experience. When it happens at age 13 it can be especially challenging. When it happens suddenly it can be traumatic. Then when you understand you will be denied your dreams and ambitions it can take a piece of you away.
Chiara had that happen to her.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor at aged 13, she lost much of her sight after surgery. Now, aged 24, the tumors remain and still cast a mental shadow over her. But she has found ways to live her life and over come the crippling anxiety her vision loss created for her.
As a good person, I am sure you can appreciate how Chiara must have felt, and just how anxious she was about losing her vision so suddenly and permanently. The shock and the fear. The changes she faced. However, with your gift you will help people like Chiara adapt to a life without vision by making a gift to support our work.
As the seventh of 12 children in her family, it was often hard to get the attention she needed. She found it impossible to talk about. She left home and moved interstate. Things didn’t change much. She found it hard to keep jobs. To make relationships.
“My parents were great and were there for me, even when I wasn’t coping and wasn’t the easiest person to live with. I really struggled as a teenager. I used to deny myself the support of people as I really did not want to discuss even if I had a problem. Let alone how I could manage my vision. And it used to hurt me.”
She battled for her life and her mind for much of her teenage years.
At 18, she found RSB. RSB restored some balance for her. We found work for her. We helped her resolve many of her fears and anxieties about her vision. We helped her find other people who could relate to her.
“RSB has been so important to me. They have helped me gather enough confidence to accept my sight loss, and to build my self-confidence. They have found me work when I was really struggling.”
RSB provides quality life affirming and independent life support services. It works with Chiara, as it does with many others, to help them find solutions and how to work around barriers. It is a great partnership.
I am sure you can understand how much this support has meant for Chiara and her family, as you would appreciate, nothing can prepare any of us for a life of total darkness. For over 137 years, the RSB has supported people who have vision lost see differently, to live full and fruitful lives. Your donation of will ensure this crucial work continues.
“After my vision was impacted by my surgery, I developed a fear of rejection. I used to be kind of ashamed about my sight loss but now I am not. It is not a disability. I see differently but I now see my life differently thanks to RSB.”
Now, at age 25, with the support of the RSB, and her family, Chiara has built an independent life for herself. She works as a Student Support Officer at a Primary School. She is completing her teaching degree online and uses RSB assistive technology.
“I wanted to help people. And I see in working with children who may also be battling to find themselves, regardless of their challenges, that there is help, like I received from RSB.”
Chiara also works at the RSB Industrial Services group during school holidays.
“It is so great to be able to work with other people who have the same sort of challenges as me, and it has been wonderful to help my build my confidence and resilience and overcome many of my anxieties. The team at RSB is so good and they do such good work. It’s fun.”
Chiara is a resilient young person. Courageous and tough. She has also become a contributor to the community. She has been supported to create an independent life for herself.
RSB has been there for Chiara. This support has meant a lot to Chiara and enabled her to help her keep moving towards achieving her dreams, such as becoming the teacher she is destined to become. Your donation will ensure the support we offer people such as Chiara can continue, and that our community will enjoy the benefit.
You can also donate by calling us on 1800 644 577 or click here.
On behalf of everyone at the RSB, thank you for your support.