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“When I lost my vision, I lost myself”

Robert had a passion for hairdressing: “hairdressing is what I was known for—I was always Rob the Hairdresser.” He enjoyed the creativity of working as a colourist, spending hours on end with his trustful clients discussing everything under the sun, and helping to transform them into the best version of themselves.

He adored cooking—especially baking. He was meticulous about the precision required to perfect a recipe, which meant that every time it came out just right: what a thrill!

Robert lived fully. Richly. Deeply. He loved music and played guitar in a band. Running kept him fit, and watching football with friends was how he spent many weekends.

But he lived with a terrible fear. The world he knew was slowly disappearing.

When he was just six years old, Robert’s parents noticed he was having trouble seeing properly. Retinitis Pigmentosa runs in Robert’s family, so it was no surprise when he was diagnosed shortly after. But that didn’t make it any less hard.

He had made it into his twenties ignoring the fact that his world was darkening. Then six years ago, Robert’s life took a devastating turn when he realised that he couldn’t ignore his vision loss any longer. He started to lose his way more often. Robert had to confront the sad truth of what was happening to him—he was losing his sight and he was scared.

“I live with a horrible fear. One more drop in my vision and it will be gone completely. It’s as bad as it gets now—until it’s gone.”

Robert sits at a cafe, smiling and reaching down to pat Coco's head

Robert with Guide Dog Coco

Eventually, he had to give up everything that had defined him for so many years: music, running, baking, and finally hairdressing. He had nothing left. He shut himself away.

“When I lost my vision, I lost myself.”

Can you imagine?

Thankfully, two years ago, Coco the beautiful chocolate delight entered Robert’s life, changing it forever.

Before, he was housebound. Now, with Coco by his side, Robert is out every day. Wherever he wants to go, Coco guides him there. The anxiety that would surface when Robert thought about going out has disappeared.

With Coco, Robert can go anywhere.

“Coco makes me very happy as my Guide Dog, but also as my companion. She is my best friend!”

Robert is finally feeling like his old self again. He is happy: “Coco has changed my life!”

Thanks to Coco, Robert has rediscovered himself.

Sadly, stories like Robert’s are becoming more common. Every hour of every day, an Australian learns that they will lose their sight.

For Robert, losing his vision was life-changing.
But so was Coco.

A little chocolate made Robert’s life sweeter. Donate to sweeten the lives of others today.

Donate Now text with Coco laying next to it

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