From Isolation to Independence

Gabby Jordan and Guide Dog Mere Bear

Gabby Jordan noticed her vision changing when she was a college intern working in Washington D.C. for the Peace Corps. One day she couldn’t see the computer well, and her physician told her bluntly, “You’re going blind.” Gabby was diagnosed with Best’s Vitelliform macular dystrophy, a genetic condition causing progressive vision loss. After an initial setback and withdrawal, she pushed forward and earned her degree in economics, eventually becoming a regional asset manager for a real estate developer.

Her company moved her a lot, and travel became a big part of her career. “I’m one of those fighters; I’m not giving up,” she says. But Gabby grew tired of trying to “not be disabled.” While working at Miami Dade College, she began isolating herself and staying home whenever possible. Even with a cane, the fear of tripping and falling gave her anxiety, and crossing busy streets was becoming more dangerous.

Today, Gabby walks confidently with Mere Bear, her lovable and active new guide dog. “I was constantly looking down to see what I could see, but with Mere Bear, I’m looking up at the sky and everything around me,” she says. “This is the first step for creating a new life for myself.”

Gabby lives in a beautiful but congested area of downtown Miami, near the water, and she now enjoys walking to the waterfront—something she hadn’t done in five years. “It’s a new adventure,” she says. “I couldn’t ask for a better dog. Mere Bear and I are a wonderful team.”


Guide dogs are a lifeline to freedom and hope. They are best friends and secret keepers. They are givers of hugs and endless affection. They help people find the confidence they need to live their best life now. These dogs are family.

The waiting list for one of our dogs is growing, and your support today will change the world for someone who is hoping for a dog of their own. It’s International Guide Dog Day, so please… make a difference—donate now.

Southeastern Guide Dogs

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Posted on April 28, 2020 | Category: Blog