The GO See Foundation
Our mission is to encourage, inspire and empower those going through vision loss to remain active and engaged with their world.
My name is Allyson Buerger and I’ve been dealing with vision loss for as long as I can remember.
My late father, Gary Owens (we all called him, “G.O.”) always encouraged me to live my life to the fullest, regardless of how well I could or could not see. He didn’t want my vision ability to be a disability. I was mainstreamed through high school and did everything my friends did. I worked at McDonalds, was a basketball cheerleader and did drill team at half time for the football games.
I created the GO See Foundation to inspire and encourage anyone experiencing vision loss. I gave it the name “GO See” because of G.O. and what I learned from him about dealing with life’s challenges including vision loss. I also believe that it is important to stay active and engaged with the world around you – to GO like G.O. always did.
I had flunked the school vision test in Kindergarten so my parents were encouraged to take me to an opthamologist. That began a lifetime of doctor visits, medications and surgeries (19 so far) on a long road of vision loss. It started with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), Cataracts and Uveitis. Glaucoma quickly became another major issue as well as retinal flairs. My right eye was removed in 1989 and replaced with a prosthetic. Vision in my left eye was relatively stable until four years ago when the the cornea began to fail.
On a good day, I have 20/80 vision within a limited field and most of that clarity is with objects in very close range. Everything else is seen as through a frost covered windshield. Thank goodness I have my guide dog, Olga, to help me. We were introduced to each other at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael in August, 2016. Since then we have done everything together.
There are more than 7 million people with a vision disability in America (according to the National Federation of the Blind). “Vision Loss” affects 5.5% of Americans 18-44 and more than 12% of those over 45 (according to the American Foundation for the Blind). Each of us has a different story. In my case, I’ve had to cope with giving up everyday activities (like driving myself anywhere I wanted to go) that I took for granted a few years ago … but … I believe that losing your sight doesn’t mean you’re limited. There are plenty of resources available that allow those of us experiencing vision loss to “Go” “Do” and “See” the world, to experience life, meet people and share our talents.
The GO See Foundation and this website are meant to forge a community where people with vision loss can support each other, share information and resources. What’s YOUR story? Share it with me via the Contact Us section below and come back and visit again soon.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
~ Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!