I inherited a retinal problem from my mother. This resulted in large tears to the retina which caused sight loss in my right eye when I was 16 years of age. The sight remained good in the left eye until my early twenties, when I then experienced the earlier problems of my right eye in the left eye “ large retinal tears and other complications including glaucoma and cataract. I underwent considerable surgery over a period of 5 years (17 operations in total), though sadly the sight deteriorated to blindness when I was 24 years of age.
More than 20 years later, I have adjusted to blindness as well as possible, working hard and enjoying a full and stimulating life. One of my hobbies is tandem cycling I do this with a friend who steers the bike at the front, whereas I try and provide pedal power from the back. The countryside near my home in Farnham, Surrey, is ideal for cycling, and I especially like the woodland areas near my home where I can breathe in fresh air and smell the character of the woodland, ferns, and plants. It gives me a sense of freedom to cycle, and hopefully keeps me fit at the same time. Cycling is good for the soul, and enables me to imagine what the sights are around me as I pedal.
My guide dog Topper (a beautiful black labrador/retriever) enjoys a well-earned rest while I cycle. He and my previous guide dogs simpson and Norton have enabled me to be happy and independent, guiding me to work, to the shops, and to the local pub€life would be unimaginable without my canine friends.