Real stories

Your donation to Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight is more than just a Christmas gift. It helps us provide life-long assistance to young Australians who are blind or have low vision.

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Gemma, 8 years old, sits at a laptop smiling towards the cameraGemma, 8 years old

Gemma was only five months old when she was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. Over the next year, Gemma underwent four procedures to save what they could of her vision.

Now aged eight, Gemma has limited functional vision and can see only rough shapes and colours from her left eye.

Vision Australia has been there for Gemma and her family, helping with preparing for school, as well as focusing on her dexterity and movement to increase independence.

"We are so proud of the milestones that Gemma has achieved over the years and it’s truly thanks to the support from Vision Australia, I believe Gemma can live whatever type of life she wants to lead," said Nova. 

Support like yours helps children like Gemma to gain confidence within themselves and provides them with the right tools to ensure she can live whatever type of life she wants to lead.

Raph, 5 sits with his mum in front of a Christmas tree. They are smiling at the cameraRaphael, 5 years old

Raphael was only four months old when he was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that affects the pigment in the back of his eyes, skin and hair.

Within a week of Raph’s diagnosis an early childhood specialist teacher from Vision Australia was appointed to offer early family support and a clear plan for how to share the news with family and friends.

Utilising all of Vision Australia’s resources including an Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Education Specialist, Orientation and Mobility specialist, Orthoptist and the Paediatric Councillor meant that Raph would be on the right path for a life of full independence.

“We have celebrated the big and small achievements over the years and have always tried to stay positive, even during some of the most challenging times. We are so lucky to have Vision Australia with us each step of the way,” says Raph's mum Francesca. 

Daisy, 3, wears a santa hat and is standing in front of a Christmas treeDaisy, 3 years old

When Daisy was only a few days old, it became apparent to her parents Louisa and Michael that Daisy needed some extra special care. Daisy was diagnosed with optic nerve hypoplasia, a condition where the optic nerve never fully develops. She also lives with nystagmus, which causes involuntary movement of the eye. Now, four-years-old, Daisy lives with around 30-50% vision in her left eye, and 50% in her right.

“Vision Australia have been so good. Through her Occupational Therapist we have been able to learn so many tips and tricks that simply help Daisy on a day-to-day basis. We were astounded at the number of different services that they were able to provide. I just don’t know where we would be had we not contacted Vision Australia,” says Louisa.

While Daisy’s condition has posed some challenges, support from Vision Australia has helped ensure Daisy is on track to meet her development milestones and enjoy what childhood has to offer alongside her peers. Looking to the future, Louisa is sure that Daisy will succeed in whatever she does thanks to intervention from Vision Australia. 

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