When we asked Katie how the walk came about, she described that a close friend, Tracey, was doing the Camino Pilgrimage 'Frances Way' in Spain, and Katie found herself planning to do the walk within months. Tracey guided Katie through every rock, valley and steep climb, and together they walked an average of 25km a day for 33 days. Katie said;
"It as not so much a physical challenge but a mental challenge in letting go and accepting help along the way. I found myself learning those life long lessons on how I have to accept I can't have my independence as I would like it with my gradual eyesight loss. I had to come to terms again, that I am always going to have to seek support from others."
"The routine of getting up and walking everyday was such a privilege, the daily Bocadillo (Spanish sandwich), and meeting friends from around the world was incredible."
"The most moving day was the famous 'Iron Cross' where people lay a rock for someone they might have lost, or for people at home. It was a very spiritual place. We stayed in a different town or village for 33 consecutive nights and I loved the the kindness and hospitality of the Spanish who would greet us with 'Buen Camino' as you passed through their town."
Katie said she found a renewed confidence in navigating with limited sight, and it reminded her of how we all have to keep overcoming the limitations we put on ourselves and be willing to put ourselves in the 'uncomfortable' to really experience the richness of life.
"Guthrie is beautiful and a lively little 2 year old Labrador. We are very much on our 'L' plates and it is a team effort as we navigate each day. He recently had his first flight to Sydney, and apart from walking down the aisle at one point, he was amazing."
Katie also added;
"I am very grateful for the NDIS and See Eye Dog Australia for making it all possible. The total investment for the See Eye Dog, is $70,000 and I couldn' have accessed this support without the support of the NDIS and the wonderful staff and Dog Trainers at See Eye Dog Australia, including my Trainer Brendan Ainsworth."
Your donation will go towards providing financial assistance and support to enable children with a disability to participate in sporting activities. Every dollar goes direct to the grant recipients to help with the cost of their sport, including modified equipment, carer costs, transport and fees.