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Helping Lisa with ‘seeing’ device

Fitness is not the only thing on the cards for Lisa Henderson since starting at the gym. It could also lead to her being able to read on the go, despite being blind.

Ms Henderson has attended proactive pain management classes through Pinnacle Midlands Health and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club’s gym.

The programme encourages those with a chronic illness to get active.

“They help your pain by getting you to the gym and I also do the Better Breathing programme through Pinnacle. It’s very intense but it’s good, I love it,” said Ms Henderson, who recently registered for a triathlon.

The team have been impressed by her positivity and kindness.

One day Ms Henderson mentioned a “seeing” device she thought would benefit her.

That device is the Eye-Pal Ace Plus, which can scan text and read the words out loud — a life-changing piece of equipment for someone who is totally blind.

“You scan the machine over an article and it will read it back to you,” said Ms Henderson.

There are phone applications that do this, but these are limited and only able to read something like the label on a can of peaches.

The Eye-Pal Ace Plus scans almost anything.

However, it also has a hefty price tag — $6050.

The team at the gym decided they could help her fundraise and give Ms Henderson the ability to scan text and read on the go.

Pinnacle Midlands Health and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti are asking the community to get behind them as they raise money for this life-enhancing device.

Asked what it would enable her to do, Ms Henderson laughed and said, “I’d be able to read The Gisborne Herald.

“I’d be more independent, I could read recipe books and my own mail, which would be cool,” she said.

“It would mean I don’t have to run next door and get my neighbour to read my mail, which would be great because it might be private.”

Asked if this had happened, Ms Henderson said that just last week there was an incident.

“I’m sure if I could see them they would have been giving me a funny look.”

A givealittle page has been set up to help raise money for the Eye-Pal Ace Plus. To donate, go to the givealittle website and type “seeing device for Lisa” into the search at the top of the page.

WORKING OUT: Lisa Henderson’s support team at the gym have launched a fundraising campaign to pay for a device which will enable Lisa to “read”. Pictured with Lisa (seated, right) is Linda Ritchie (seated, left), and (back from left) Pinnacle Midlands Health cardiac/pulmonary rehab programme network coordinator. Steve Allen, Caleb Milne from Sport Gisborne Tarawhiti and Midlands Health respiratory clinical nurse specialist Jade Robertson. Picture by Paul Rickard