Narelle has a desire to give back and help her community
Growing up in a small town cemented Narelle Gatti’s desire to give back and help the community by becoming an ambassador for Guide Dogs Queensland.
“We grew up in a small community where everyone helped everyone,” Narelle said.
“Guide Dogs have helped me regain my independence and I need to give back.”
Narelle was diagnosed with myopic degeneration after years of assuming she was just short-sighted and clumsy.
“I struggled when I was younger and wore glasses but after I got married and had my boys, I started falling over more and the optometrist started doing more tests and we found out that I was legally blind.”
After her diagnosis, Narelle reached out to Guide Dogs where she completed her cane training and was matched with Guide Dog ‘Kassidy’.
“I was at the bowls club when I found out I was getting Kassidy. I just started jumping around saying ‘I’m getting a dog!’ I called my sister and we were both just yelling with excitement,”
“I fell in love with her straight away. She is the most beautiful, receptive, intelligent, smart and funny dog. I’m independent with ‘Kassidy’ and I’m able to go and do what I want to do and not rely on someone else.
“She’s part of the family. We had family photos last year and she just popped up in the middle of them. It’s a beautiful portrait.”
As a Guide Dogs Queensland client ambassador, Narelle wants to help give other people the chance to develop the confidence and independence that she has gained from being matched with ‘Kassidy’.
Narelle will have the chance to attend a variety of events from school functions, community fundraisers and events to share her story and help spread awareness around the services that Guide Dogs offers to the Queenslanders with low or no vision.
“There are two ways you can do things. You can sit in a corner and cry or you can laugh, get on with it and find a solution. I want to give back to Guide Dogs and use my experience to help others.”
Narelle lives in Brisbane and is close with her family who love ‘Kassidy’ almost as much as she does.