Who We Serve

Every seven minutes in our country someone becomes blind or visually impaired. These people are not statistics. They are our children, parents, friends, neighbors, co-workers and employees. For some, the cause is genetics. For others it’s disease, accident or war. For most, it is an irreversible change. According to a recent study*, 30 million Americans suffer from the leading causes of vision loss. That number is expected to increase dramatically in the next ten years, largely as a result of the aging Baby Boomer population.

"My Fidelco Guide Dog gave me freedom and independence that I thought would never be possible.” This is what we hear from our clients time and again and this desire to live life to the fullest is an important part of  our admissions criteria. Fidelco Guide Dog recipients include a wide variety of blind and visually impaired individuals - business leaders, wounded war heroes, teachers, athletes, mountain climbers, busy parents, and retirees. 

 

Karen1

Karen Petrou, Financial Services

Karen Shaw Petrou is a powerhouse in the power center of America. She is co-founder and managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm specializing in domestic and international financial services regulation. It’s not unusual to see Karen moving swiftly through the Halls of Congress or attending meetings at the White House. She is a force to be reckoned with—American Banker described Karen as the “sharpest mind analyzing banking policy today – maybe ever...”  To read more about Karen, click here.

Erik and "Uri" 

Erik Weihenmayer, Adventurer

Blind at the age of 14 from a rare disease called retinoschisis, Erik is one of the most celebrated and accomplished adventurers in the world. In 2001, he became the only blind climber in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2008, he completed his quest to climb the Seven Summits – the tallest peak on each of the seven continents.  To read more about Erik's story, click here.

 

Dixie Sanderson

 

Dixie Sanderson, Mother, Small Business Owner

Prescribed millions of times per year, antibiotics are supposed to help. For Dixie Sanderson, an adverse reaction to the intended cure crushed her optic nerve. Dixie’s nighttime dreams turned into daytime darkness. She woke up unable to see. To read more about Dixie's story, click here.

 

 

SrA Michael Malarsie (Ret.), USAF

Malarsie was blinded and severely wounded by an explosion during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. Michael was paired with Fidelco Guide Dog "Xxon" one year later.  To read more about Michael's story, click here.

 John Pimentel  

John Pimentel,RN, Certified Diabetes Outpatient Educator (CDOE)

“I can honestly say that I have a better, more fulfilling life now than I did when I was sighted. That may sound radical. But the confidence of the dog has changed my life path and I’m happy… I would not be where I am today without Fidelco, my beloved Gatsby and now Victory. I’m doing good things for people. It’s exactly what I should be doing, and there is no place where I think I would fit in better.”

To read more about John's story, click here.

 Ed Bordley & Fidelco Dog  

Ed Bordley, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice/U.S. Marshals Service

Ed Bordley has been breaking barriers all his life. From being the first black student to attend public school in Delaware’s Caeser Rodney school district in 1963, to the first in his family to earn a college degree in 1979, Bordley has never let challenges stand in the way of his dreams – and he credits his five Fidelco Guide Dogs with helping him achieve them.

To read more about Ed's story, click here.