Did You Know?

Seventy per cent of Canadians would not be able to continue working at their present jobs if they were to lose their vision.
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Who Your Gift Helps – Paige Stanford

The Explorer
Paige Stanford

Change Catalyst: CNIB services and support for young children with vision loss and their families. Monthly two-hour sessions for two years.

When Paige Stanford was three months old, her mother Trudy and her father Todd noticed something unusual. Paige seemed to have an involuntary muscle movement in her eyes, and when she was offered a toy, she didn’t always reach for it. Trudy and Todd started taking Paige to doctors, thinking that perhaps Paige needed corrective lenses. A few months later a pediatric ophthalmologist told them their daughter was blind – she has since been diagnosed with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a rare genetic condition.

Like most parents in their situation, they had little experience with vision loss, and they were devastated – at first. They spent a long night consumed with worry about how they would cope and what Paige’s future would be. The next morning they called CNIB. “From there,” says Trudy, “it’s been constant support.”

In visits to their home in Clarenville, Newfoundland, Paige’s early intervention specialist Robin DeVerteuil showed them how to excite their daughter’s senses and get her to explore her environment. She also provided vital emotional support, connected them to information and to other families and accompanied them on medical appointments. “She’s so patient and her experience really shows,” says Trudy. “The first time I met her, I knew things were going to be okay.”

Today Trudy and Todd are excited about Paige’s future. The infant who wasn’t grabbing toys has become a thriving two-year-old who gets into everything. “She’s very busy – she’s an explorer,” says Trudy. “When she’s home, she doesn’t sit down. It’s hard keeping up with her!”

“I think every family says the same thing. You just want to reach out to someone. CNIB has been absolutely fabulous.” – Trudy Stanford.

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