A WHITLAND man diagnosed with sight loss has rebuilt his life and launched a new career with help and support from the RNIB.
Dave Legrice had been a builder for over 20 years when a sight test in October 2015 detected an abnormality. After being referred to hospital, and being diagnosed with Retina Pigmentosa, he was advised not to drive, which in turn meant that he had to give up his job.
During his hospital referral, Dave was referred to Derek Edwards an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO), funded by RNIB Cymru. ECLO’s help to support patients who are often struggling to find their way through a frightening and complex sight loss journey and are able to give the time to listen and advise where doctors and nurses may not.
Having four children and a wife, Dave needed to find a new career that would enable him to bring in a salary and continue with his life, regardless of his sight loss. His ECLO referred him on to RNIB Cymru’s Employment Advisor who suggested he re-train as a personal trainer. After six months with the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), based in Hereford, Dave qualified as a personal trainer in July 2016 and four months ago opened his very own gym in Whitland, Carmarthenshire, called ‘Vision Fitness’, a name and logo which was suggested by his children.
Dave said: “I’m so grateful to the staff of RNIB Cymru for supporting me both emotionally and career-wise. After being a builder for most of my life it was hard to think I could do anything else. The RNC have also been amazing and I can’t thank them enough for the support they gave me throughout the course.”
Ceri Jackson, Director of RNIB Cymru said: “As Dave’s experience goes to prove, the services we provide to people with sight loss are so important. I’m so glad we were able to support Dave and it’s amazing that just a few months after qualifying he was able to open his own gym. We’d like to wish Dave all the best with his new venture.”