My name is Chris Styles. I’m 21-years-old, I have retinitis pigmentosa and I’m on a mission to get us all loving the cane a little bit more.
As a partially sighted person myself, I really struggled to come to terms with using my cane. I was ashamed and embarrassed about using it and worried about people staring at me, standing out and looking different. But as I used the cane a bit more over time, I realised how empowering the cane could be in my everyday life. I decided to challenge myself to push through the insecurity and distress, because the long-term positive outcomes were worth the discomfort. I know that like I did, many visually impaired people see the cane as a negative symbol of blindness that marks you out as different and unable to do things other people can. But the truth is that the cane really does enable you to take part in everything the world has to offer. I can now walk around independently, not fall down steps and everyone around me knows I have a visual impairment.
I want to encourage everyone who is going through these struggles to love their cane a little bit more and view the cane as a useful and life-saving tool.
Share your cane stories
Using the hashtag #LoveMyCane, get involved, by sharing short videos, quotes or blogs of your own journeys of coming to terms with using your cane. Have you ever struggled with using your cane? If you now love using your cane, let us know why. What advice would you have for a young person struggling to use their cane? Send in your videos, blogs, and quotes with the hashtag #LoveMyCane. If you just want to post a picture of you using your cane that’s also brilliant!
Oh, almost forgot to say, everyone who takes part, will be entered into a draw to win a delicious box of chocolates. So, what have you got to lose? Get involved, #LoveMyCane.
Want some inspiration?
Check out the stories of LOOK mentors and visually impaired bloggers who have gone through this struggle and learned how to love their canes.