“Life tends to feel like the inside of a washing machine at times. You remember what you saw and you let your imagination go to town and try to keep smiling.”

Valerie was born in Parkstone and is currently registered as partially sighted however her condition is deteriorating rapidly. She was born without sight in her right eye and due to a double-bleed, has now lost most of her sight in her left eye as well. At the age of 78, Valerie’s passions are knitting, dancing and keeping everyone including herself in high spirits.

Valerie expressed her feelings of loss due to her sight condition and now has a strong affinity to her memory. She uses her memory to relive all the wonderful times in her life and create new one’s through imagination. She believes that most people who are blind or partially sighted want to go unnoticed and appear as normal as they can. She feels like it is a natural instinct for a visually impaired person to mask their true feelings.

Valerie always tries to stay positive. She thinks of herself as still being young and adventurous as she is not dragged down by the negative visual cues getting being old. Valerie’s positivity stems from her ability to see good in every situation. She believes that no matter what situation a person is in, they should not be discriminated against and should be provided help is they so need it.

She believes that we have had a tremendously positive influence in her life. She is an active member of many of our societies and clubs and takes part in various activities that the charity organises. She expresses how the equipment provided by DBA has helped her in her daily life. She feels very lucky to be a member of DBA, she feels that she is not part of an extended family and expresses her gratitude to the support staff and fundraisers.

When asked about whether there was an experience that she would love to have had, she wished to be in the heart of South Africa on a safari with wild animals all around. She expressed her desire to witness the freedom that these animals have.

Valerie believes that all negativity and judgement in the world can be overlooked if people are kind to one another and are grateful for everything that they have.