guide dog

The Impact of a Leader

Leader Dogs for the Blind leaves an impact on more than just their clients.

New intern at Leader Dog shares about her experience of sitting in on interviews with the clients and their dogs when they were asked the question, "How will having a Leader Dog impact your life?"

Macular Degeneration: A Family Affair

Client Gretchen Preston is pictured from the waist up, sitting and smiling with her arms around her black Labrador Leader Dog Floyd, who is in harness

I adored watching sunsets, scanning the sky for shooting stars and summer fireworks. Never did I consider these simple things would become only visual memories. In the fifth grade I began having problems with my vision. Two years earlier, my younger brother had been diagnosed with an inherited eye disease. The specialist told my parents to watch for signs of visual difficulties in their other three children. Both brother Chris and I were diagnosed with Stargardt disease. This rare inherited eye disease is a juvenile onset form of macular degeneration. Similar to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the resulting loss of central vision, they are two different diseases.

We could not read normal print, street signs or see the details of faces. We used magnifying machines, talking books and volunteer readers to help with homework. With the support of low vision professionals, visual aids and daily help from friends and family, my brother and I adjusted to having low vision.