Search:



Isabella proving she ‘cane do’ anything

Posted: 2pm 14 Oct 2020

Life has been anything but easy for Isabella Stanfield, but the courageous Margate youngster is proving she ‘cane do anything’ she puts her mind to.

Isabella, in Year 7 at North Lakes State College, lives with cerebral palsy and vision loss caused by bleeding on the brain in utero.

As part of International White Cane Day on October 15, Isabella has joined Guide Dogs’ campaign to share the life-changing transformation a white cane offers someone with low vision or blindness.

“I not only have my vision to deal with, but also cerebral palsy, so most of the time I use a walking frame to get around,” Isabella explains.

“I feel good using the cane and not needing the walker, I feel like I belong.”

Sense of belonging

Isabella started using a cane when she was three when her dad, Mal, found a wooden cane in a local op shop.

“I thought it could help her identify things around her and make her a bit more confident and comfortable when walking around,” Mal says.

Then came her first cane – a rainbow one – from Guide Dogs Queensland.

Isabella quickly outgrew the first cane and is now starting to use her cane more to get between classes at school.

Determined attitude

“To me, having the cane is a very big thing. I don’t ever notice that I’m different, but I do know that I can’t do certain things with the walking frame,” she says.

“The cane takes up less space and helps me to do more of the things that other kids can do.

“I know my mobility is limited, but my cane gives me the security to try anything and be more comfortable in my surroundings. I just say to myself ‘I’ve got this, I can do it’.”

Isabella’s “cane do” attitude has been with her from a young age.

Mal recalls her crawling backwards to familiarise herself with new environments.

“She just taught herself to crawl backwards until she was comfortable in a space and then she would start moving forward.”

Isabella says her vision loss was “normal” to her because she did not know anything different.

“The cane helps me to identify any obstacles in the way – things as small as a bump or a gap in the concrete.

“I know that my vision isn’t perfect, and I’m not perfect, but no one is.

Grateful for support

“I am just so grateful for the support and resources that I have been given that help me live my life to the fullest. I just love living life.”

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley says it is inspiring how life-changing a white cane can be for children such as Isabella.

“Through safe play, travelling around and being active, we all learn how to connect with our community and be part of it,” Michael says.

“With a white cane, a child with low vision or blindness can find this freedom too.”
The white cane is the mobility tool of choice for most Guide Dogs clients because it gives sensory feedback about the surrounding environment, and is a visual signal to others of low vision and blindness.

Celebrating fearlessness

Michael says using a white cane is often one of the first skills people with low vision and blindness learn as part of orientation and mobility training, and for children, a white cane is the key to their first experiences of independence.

“This White Cane Day we are celebrating the fun, fearless and adventurous spirit of our young clients and cane users who live life to the fullest, with many engaging in everything from skateboarding to gymnastics,” Michael says.

Read more local news here.

Share

Trending

Healthy and Active Moreton program returns

Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Healthy and Active Moreton program is kicking off again for those keen to get moving after COVID-19 isolation.…

Big birthday for Osprey House

The beloved Osprey House Environmental Centre has celebrated its 25th birthday today with the people who love it most - its loyal volunteers.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Jodie Powell

Moreton Bay residents honoured in Queen’s Birthday awards

Recognition for Moreton Bay locals in Queen's Birthday Honours List…

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Dragon Boat Festival a first

See dragon boats in action and enjoy free vegetarian food, fun games for the family, stalls and entertainment, when the Dragon Boat Festival comes to Clontarf for the first time on June 20.…

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Colourful bouquet of flowers, art

Redcliffe Floral and Art Festival will be back to its blooming best this week, when it returns after a forced hiatus in 2020. Here's your preview to the much-loved event.…

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Nick Crockford

$27.5 billion to drive recovery

Record funding will flow into transport and roads projects to create jobs and support Queensland’s economic recovery, according to today’s State Budget.…

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Lotto millions still unclaimed

Lottery players are being urged to check old tickets as there are 10 unclaimed division one and major lottery prizes in Queensland worth $7.4 million - and one is from the Moreton Bay Region.…

Local News   •   15-6-2021  •   Jodie Powell

Riley saves the day

10-year-old raises fire alarm…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close