Stairway to the Future
How Alice transformed Lexie’s high school journey.
On the evening of her high school homecoming in Elkridge, Maryland, Lexie planned to dance the night away. She chose the perfect dress. Feeling beautiful, she practiced a few cautious steps in her new heels before heading downstairs for pictures.
Then the dim stairway messed up everything. One misplaced step led to a broken ankle and a night in the emergency room. And that’s when Lexie knew: I need a guide dog.
She had always wanted one. But a broken bone and slightly bruised dignity made it, “I need one now, please.”
This bubbly teenager’s determined “can do” attitude didn’t mix well with her visual impairment, often leading to “ouch, that really hurt!” situations.
Lexie’s eyesight, underdeveloped since birth, can’t distinguish things with similar backgrounds. “One time, there was a street sign in my way, and I didn’t see it,” she says. “It was thin, and I walked right into it.” A white cane helped her get around but also served as a constant visual reminder of her vision loss, drawing unwanted attention and putting up awkward social barriers.
Her urgent goal? Get a guide dog.
Other teens with similar challenges inspired her with social media stories about their awesome four-legged assistants. She knew the minimum age for a guide dog was 15, but Lexie applied at only 14. “I couldn’t wait,” she says.
Today, she posts her own stories. The selfies show a broadly beaming teen next to a bright-eyed Lab named Alice—Lexie’s devoted guide, constant companion, and social activities director.
And what a perfect match!
“With her, I feel less alone,” she says. “She’s definitely a comfort and makes things a lot more exciting. She helps me look at things in a more optimistic light. She keeps me on my toes and gets me out of my house, out of my comfort zone.”
With Alice by her side, Lexie plans to tackle her senior year, then college. With her exquisite training, Alice can handle crowded hallways, classrooms, and locker rooms like a pro. Stairs? No problem. Trips and falls? That’s history.
Together, this dynamic duo faces a future without bounds. A future filled with hope and dreams, where every day becomes an adventure in wonderland.