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.

You can help light up lives this Christmas

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Winter, 2 years old, wears and eyepatch and is looking through a children's book.Winter, 2 years old

Winter was only nine days old when she was diagnosed with Bilateral Congenital Cataract in her left eye, and her family were devastated. At only 3 months old, Winter had cataract removal surgery and now wears a hard contact lens on her left eye and a patch on her right to assist with her overall eye development.

The support we have received from Vision Australia has been second to none. Personally, I found the whole world of early intervention and NDIS applications confusing and confronting and it was Vision Australia who guided me through the process and assisted in helping me select a team to help Winter in the areas we felt she was developmentally delayed,” said Winter’s mum, Georgia. 

In just over a year, Winter has achieved some major milestones and a recent ophthalmologist check-up even showed some improvement in Winter’s sight, which is hugely rewarding.

Support like yours helps Winter and Georgia to gain confidence within themselves and provides them with the right tools to ensure Winter can do anything she lets her mind to as she continues to grow.

Ethan, 10 years old, stands outside against a wall, holding his cane.Ethan, 10 years old

History buff Ethan Bradley was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism in 2011 when he was 8 weeks old, and within a week, the team at Vision Australia were right there, supporting him through every hurdle.

“Vision Australia have really helped me navigate my way around obstacles using a cane as well making sure I can do things such as being able to get on public transport by myself when I’m a bit older,” said Ethan.

Ethan continues to surprise everyone in so many ways and whilst he sometimes needs a cane to get around, he’s an excellent bike rider, loves getting on his scooter and enjoys bushwalking with his brothers Sam and Chris.

An ambition of Ethan’s is to be inspire others and he is determined to educate people about some of his day-to-day challenges. He would love nothing more than world peace and would like everyone in the world to be kind to one another.

Ethan said, “Vision Australian have helped me and my family a lot and it’s now my turn to help them raise some money for people just like me. I want people to learn about Vision Australia as well as my challenges.

Sam, aged 8, sits on a couch, holding a magnifier above a book and is looking at the cameraSam, 8 years old

Just like his older brother Ethan, Sam who is a twin, was born with albinism and is blind due to Oculocutaneous Albinism.

Vision Australia has been a lifelong lifesaver for both Sam, Ethan and his entire family who seek guidance through Vision Australia’s services to help the boys achieve tasks they find challenging. “We instil as much independence as possible in both Ethan and Sam, to ensure they have the right tools and therapies to be able to live their life as independent as they can now and in the future,” said mum Rebecca Bradley.

When asked about what it’s like to have low vision, Sam said, “The yellow paint around the school helps me not run into things, I can see certain colours but I don’t read very well. I need to hold the words close to my eyes and sometimes use my magnifier. If I don’t have my sunglasses on, the sun hurts my eyes.

Confident in his own skin Sam is happy to discuss his condition with others and also isn’t afraid to say when he needs helps. With the help of Vision Australia's supporters, Sam has been able to grow his independence and can do anything his full sighted friends can.

Make a donation now