There are plenty of terrifying scenarios that play out in our heads daily. If your greatest fears have any resemblance to my list, blindness is pretty close to the top. You’re damn near helpless at that point. Life goes on, sure, but the repercussions of total blindness are severe and grim.
Michael Girard was riding his motorcycle from California to New Mexico when he was struck in a hit-and-run accident. After waking up in a hospital and learning of his loss of vision, Girard learned to make his way around the world using his remaining senses. Now, 20-years after the accident, Girard is a sociology major at the University of San Diego. A little over a year ago, USD’s Sigma Pi chapter began raising funds for “Operation Bow Wow,” with an ultimate goal of gifting Girard with a service dog to help increase his mobility and freedom.
From NBC Los Angeles:
Operation Bow Wow was spearheaded by Sigma Pi member Jesse Nebrez, who has become a good friend to Girard.
Nebrez said he and his friends would often see Girard around campus, walking with his cane, and help guide him to class or the cafeteria.
The two got to talking and one day, Nebrez asked Girard why he didn’t have a service dog. Girard said he’s on scholarship at USD, and while he qualifies for a service dog, he didn’t have the means to pay for the costs that come with having a service companion, including medical care and food.
Last month, their efforts culminated when Eric, a 19-month-old German Shepard was given to Girard, his new companion.
Now, with Eric by his side, Girard’s life on campus has changed.
“I have greater mobility; I have greater confidence in crossing the street. Because I was hit and run down, I still deal with some post-traumatic stress of wondering where the other side of the curb [is],” Girard told NBC 7. “I don’t worry that I’m going to be hit and run down again.”
With the help of his canine companion, Girard said he also feels safer. And, with so many friends and fellow students by his side, he’s also never felt more loved.
I love these stories. Well done, Sigma Pi. You certainly changed a fellow student’s life for the better..
[via NBC Los Angeles]