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Learning to Use a White Cane: Mary Pat’s Journey

June 12, 2019 | Leave a Comment

by Cheryl Megurdichian

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Steps Mary Pat took learning to use her white cane to find the patio. Mary Pat uses her cane to walk along the outside wall of her house, find the patio and find her favorite lounge chair.

Learning to use a white cane can be terrifying. You have to trust this simple tool to find your way in a world that can be very complicated – from cracks in the sidewalk to traffic signals to electric cars that make no noise.

For 20 years, Mary Pat let fear dictate part of her life. She didn’t learn to use a white cane and never left her house by herself. Never walked out the door alone.

But last year, with some encouragement from a friend, Mary Pat decided to change that.

Mary Pat started out with a small goal. She wanted to be able to walk out her door. Walk out the door and get to her patio. Go to her patio and sit in the sun on a summer day. By herself.



Once she made the trek to her patio, she started wanting more. There were roadblocks and challenges along the way. At one point, Mary Pat thought she had gone as far as she could. She was disappointed and a bit depressed.

With a little encouragement, lots of repetition and the willingness to try, Mary Pat discovered she could set bigger goals and reach milestones she never thought possible.

Watch Mary Pat describe her journey in the video above.

If you or someone you know struggles with independent travel, contact Second Sense to talk with our mobility instructor. As Mary Pat says, learning to use a white cane can be “live-changing.”

Cheryl is the Director of Development and Communications at Second Sense.

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