If you went running with ear plugs in and popped on some goggles to obscure your vision, you’d get a taste of what it’s like to be Sophie Thomas.
The Seeing Eye Dog client, who has hearing and vision loss, is preparing for her first half marathon on March 19, and is also raising funds for the not-for-profit organisation along the way.
Sophie has Seeing Eye Dog Yarra who, she says, enables her to do everyday things and the things she loves, like going to the football. This is what motivated her to raise funds in the lead-up, and the UK-native has already raised over $5000 towards her $6000 goal.
A desire to lose weight before her wedding led to a love of running, but with her vision deteriorating she didn't feel safe to run alone anymore and would now rely on someone to run with her.
But, fast-forward to last year's Melbourne Marathon and it was an elderly man who completed it that motivated her to get back into it.
" I saw a little old guy, half bent over, running the marathon route and I thought, gee if he can do it why can’t I? But my main obstacle was finding someone willing to do it with me," she says.
Her colleagues, at Clicks IT Recruitment, have stepped in as her guides, they head out in the mornings before work for training runs.
As to why she chose Seeing Eye Dogs as the charity to fundraise for, she says:
“Yarra has given me my independence back! I’m very lucky to have an extremely supportive husband, but he can’t be with me all the time. Before receiving Yarra, I was avoiding leaving the office at lunchtime because I was scared of bumping into people and falling over. Having Yarra now means I can work full-time in the office with my team and perform my job with ease,” she says.
“I can also socialise a lot more. I’ve been able to visit friends, and enjoy meeting them for coffee or dinner without having to rely on someone else to get me there,” she adds.
"I want to contribute to SEDA so that other people like me can get their lives back." Donate
today to Sophie's cause