Stories

Luca

Meet Luca, Luca was born with FEVR (Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy) which affects the development of blood vessels in the retina. It means she has to get very close to anything to see it, and has no depth perception.

There's a lot of stuff she can't do that her friends can do. 

If she wants to try something new, she has to figure out ways to adapt them for her to be able to go and ice skate and ride a bike. Because of her depth perception and her vision, she doesn't have very good balance. So, instead of getting her a normal bike for Christmas, her family had to buy her a big trike.

But if there’s one thing she doesn’t struggle with, it’s listening to audiobooks, and that’s one reason she's really looking forward to The Great Kiwi Bookathon!

When you sign up for the Great Kiwi Bookathon, you’ll be making sure more kids like Luca get every opportunity in life to succeed and enjoy each day with their friends.

Here’s how we know how much of a big difference you’ll make…

Even before Luca was diagnosed, she was already being helped in so many different kinds of ways thanks to the generous support of people donating to and fundraising for Blind Low Vision NZ.

Luca's case worker Alanna, helped Luca with so many different life skills – things that you wouldn’t think about with normal vision but that with low vision or blindness, can become so hard:

  • Walking with a cane
  • Playing basketball
  • Doing gymnastics
  • Tying up her hair
  • Taking lessons at school
  • And even cooking – her favourite things to cook are burgers and hot dogs!

Luca has achieved so much, because behind her are people like you who are part of an incredible team helping Blind Low Vision do the amazing work they do.

Stella

A while after Stella was born she was diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy, which means her optic nerve isn’t transmitting the correct vision to the brain.

It might be easy to think that’s a minor condition, but believe me it affects every part of Stella’s life. 

By taking part in The Great Kiwi Bookathon, you won’t just be getting the whole family back into reading like MAD. You won’t just be enjoying a story after story, adventure after after adventure… 

When you sign up for The Great Kiwi Bookathon you’ll be helping kids just like Stella. 

Stella loves art just about more than anything else, although if there were any competition it’d be reading, especially audiobooks!

Thanks to support from Blind Low Vision, Stella’s had access to tools that help her do these things she loves. There’s an iPad and a MacBook she uses for digital art, and listening to audiobooks. Being able to zoom in on your canvas is so incredibly helpful when you have low vision.

When it comes to books, there are a few series that Stella absolutely adores, Wings of Fire and Warriors.

Blind Low Vision didn’t just help Stella with reading and drawing. Through our Life Skills Specialist Nicole, Stella learnt a jaw-dropping amount of things.

Things that most people don’t struggle with, but people with low vision need help with, like getting dressed, doing buttons, handling cutlery, even cooking… all of these, Stella learnt how to do with the extra support.

The Bookathon is your opportunity to support other families who also have a child with low vision, blindness, or deafblindness.