Laura Jotham looks just like any regular teenager you see these days. But unlike most of her peers, she doesn’t have the luxury of doing what she wants, going where she wants, and living the life of a normal teenager to the fullest.
The Orangeville teen was born with Retinopathy of Prematurity, a disease that damages the eyesight of premature babies. Laura was born 10 weeks early, and developed ROP during her stay at the hospital.
Today, Laura says she has 10% vision in her right eye, and none at all in her left – making her legally blind. Needless to say, this makes walking around the city very difficult, and she doesn’t feel particularly at ease with a cane, seeing as how it can make her an easy target for muggers and other criminals.
This prompted her to approach the group, The Lions Foundation of Canada, an organization that provides dog guides to individuals with disabilities. Laura visited their centre in Oakville where she met one of the trainers who was working with Hedda, a black Labrador.
It was love at first sight.
Today, Laura is back in Orangeville to support the Purina Walk for Dog Guides, which takes place on the 30th of may. The dog walk was organized to raise awareness and funds which will go to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program.