I was so proud of the scones I just baked. It gave me such a sense of value and accomplishment, to enjoy this wonderful new hobby I picked up after my vision had decreased. What’s more, my friends told me they were delicious!

Ever since my vision first started to become fuzzy and distorted about five years ago, many of the simple, everyday activities I’d taken for granted became a challenge for me. I could no longer see facial expressions well or read the traffic lights. Taking the stairs or going outside after dark were suddenly dangerous for me.

Let me tell you how the incredible people from the MAB-Mackay enriched my life, and helped me to deal with the realities of my visual impairment.

Sara Jane introduced me to the magic of the white cane. I know that for some people, using a white cane is scary and a sign of vulnerability. I embraced the cane, and learned to walk with confidence, even in strange places and in bad weather. I discovered that people are very helpful when they see me with my cane on the bus or in the supermarket. The sense of independence it’s given me is so important, and I had a lot of fun walking and learning with Sara Jane.

Another special person I met at the MAB-Mackay was Marie-Claude, who visited me at home on numerous occasions to ensure that my environment was arranged in a way that was safe for me. She knew just what to look for, arranging the lighting and applying tactile stickers to the appliances.

When my eye doctor first told me that I had macular degeneration, I had a knot in my
stomach and was full of questions.

When I told her that I had to give up beloved past-time of jewellery-making due to my blurred vision, she went to work with me in exploring new possibilities in the kitchen. She helped me learn how to cook and bake without fear, to chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and to fry using special techniques that are safe for people with a visual disability. I’d never really baked before, and now I was making muffins, cookies, banana bread and quiches. It gives me a new sense of accomplishment and a chance to be creative again.

I’m very grateful to the MAB-Mackay for being by my side on this journey. Everyone I met had a positive attitude, was knowledgeable, patient, and made all the learning fun.

With my heartfelt thanks,

, baker extraordinaire