Aston was just six weeks old when he was diagnosed with Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR)

Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life. It’s hard to describe the feeling becoming a parent generates – from the intense love of your new born baby, to always hoping for a bright, healthy and safe future of acceptance and accomplishment for your child.

Image of a young boy and his mother sitting on a colourful mat and playing with toys

Will you help these children?

Aston is just one of many young Queenslanders who need your support to get the help they need.

The news of Aston’s condition came as a complete shock.

For most of us, fortune smiles our way and our babies grow into healthy and happy children, eventually enjoying as adults that same sort of love and concern you felt as they start their own families.

But not all journeys are the same. Aston was just six weeks old when he was diagnosed with Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) – a genetic condition that affects the retina.

Image of a mother holding her smiling young son

The news of Aston’s condition came as a complete shock to mum, Jackie, and dad, Manny, especially after Aston’s brother Byron was born with perfect vision and no hint of the genetic condition.

“Looking back, hearing the news from the doctor about Aston’s condition was a very emotional day for Manny and I. We were both very concerned for the extra challenges the future held for Aston living with vision impairment,” Jackie said.

Fortunately for Aston, Jackie and Manny sought help from Guide Dogs Queensland to access specialised programs for children with low or no vision.

“Guide Dogs Queensland has been a constant source of support, with regular assistance for Aston and help just a phone call away,” Jackie said.

Despite his low vision, little Aston is determined to explore and live his life to the fullest, just like any other child his age. With his new rainbow-coloured cane in hand and a good dose of curiosity, there’s really no stopping him.

Ashton pushed the boundaries and learnt new skills

Image of a mother and her young son reading a book

Together with his Orientation and Mobility Instructor Cathryn, Aston is pushing his boundaries to learn new skills and build his independence.

“It’s been very rewarding to see how much he has developed and blossomed. I visit Aston every week and we play games with shapes and colours, before heading out for walks to explore with his new cane,” Cathryn said.

Although a long time off, Aston’s love of dogs and his early work with a cane will also put him in a good position to receive a Guide Dog if he decides he would like one when he’s ready. Thank you for helping children like Aston have the opportunity for a brighter future.

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