More than 30 people joined Sue Boman on May 15 as she walked around Ponoka as part of her White Cane Connection campaign to raise awareness for the visually impaired.
Boman began her campaign to walk in communities across Canada in Sechelt, B.C. on March 23 and plans to finish in St. John’s, N.L. on Sept. 23.
In 1986 Boman’s eyesight suddenly deteriorated. Now, more than 25 years later she’s walking for those with similar impairments.
“I was too upset to think about at project like this at the time,” Boman said. However as time went on she began to notice something, different surfaces felt different beneath the end of her cane.
Boman wanted to experience the different surfaces across Canada and she wanted to understand how the surfaces felt to others who used the white cane. That’s how the idea for her campaign started. Now her main goal is to raise awareness.
Town Counc. John Jacobs was one of the many participants who came to walk with Boman and enjoy the warm weather.
“It’s great weather for walking, it’s sunny and there’s a bit of a breeze. I really think it will be the most amazing day,” Boman said.
Boman expressed her excitement that there were people, many of them long-time friends, who had come out to support her. She told the crowd one of her main fears had been that nobody would come.
Boman’s walk fits in well with other activities taking place in Ponoka this month—Vision Health Month.
Tracey Harrison, who works with CNIB in Edmonton, walked to support Boman and to raise awareness for vision health.
“We work together to bring the idea if those who Boman supported in White Cane Connection have vision loss together,” Harrison said, referring to Boman and her White Cane Connection campaign.
Harrison will be visiting optometrist 4 Your Eyes Only and Ponoka Elementary School.
At the school students will to receive information booklets on vision health and how they can protect their eyes.
Harrison, who was born blind in one eye, knows you only have one set of eyes for life and she wants to ensure people are doing everything they can to protect theirs.
“Pretty much 100 per cent of accidental blindness is preventable.”
By Amelia Naismith