Ardross resident Liz Wilk always believed in hard work. She established her career as a successful lawyer, had married the love of her life, and things were turning out well.
Then when Liz fell suddenly ill 5 years ago, she didn’t think too much of it. She explains: “When smudges appeared in my vision and I began bumping into things, I dismissed it as clumsiness and just being tired. Unfortunately, I lost my night vision within about three weeks and my peripheral vision began narrowing rapidly. I was diagnosed with a condition called Autoimmune Retinopathy—my own body was attacking and killing the cells in my eyes.”
She was told that she would lose most of her sight within just two years, and in an attempt to slow this process, she was placed on “a concoction of steroids and immunosuppressant medication”—and she was scared.
“It was a very difficult time in my life. I often felt physically sick from the medication, I had to deal with losing my independence, and I feared waking up blind every day.”
“Having been so independent previously, I often resented having to be ‘looked after’ at night and in dim lighting. I also felt like a burden. In an attempt to minimise some of those feelings I spent the last few years attending only a handful of social gatherings during the day and I spent most of my time hiding out at home.”
“It took a long time, but with the unwavering love and support from my wonderful husband Lucas, and my family, I finally gained a different perspective. I needed to let go of the loss so I could enjoy the present and begin to plan for the future again.”
“This year, I wanted to do something more for Guide Dogs WA. A person’s mental wellbeing is so important and it can often be impacted by isolation or the loss of freedom and independence. I identified with this and I believed that if I could raise $35,000 for just one Guide Dog, the life of one person in need would change for the better.”
Since September, Liz and her husband have held a movie fundraiser and a Bunnings sausage sizzle. Their major event is still to come—and you can get involved too!
Their ‘Come Dine With Me’ event at the Ambrose Estate Wembley Golf Course promises to be an exciting evening, and will be attended by 4x Paralympian Swimmer Jeremy McClure and his Guide Dog, Presley.
You’ll experience blindfolded dining to really step into the shoes of someone living with vision impairment, and there are some fantastic items up for auction that have been generously donated by local businesses.
Liz’s ultimate goal is to raise $35,000 to sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy, and she has more fundraising ideas in the pipeline for the coming months—including a special Krispy Kreme offer, so watch this space!
“I feel very fortunate. I could have lost more but I still have a lot in my life and I’d like to give something back.”
Tickets to ‘Come Dine With Me’ are $125 (with all food, drinks and entertainment included), and you can reserve yours today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also donate to Liz’s fundraising campaign by visiting her Everyday Hero page.