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Giving the ultimate gift

MERRAN Thurley has made the ultimate gift that will one day give someone the joy of a Guide Dog.

The 68-year-old knows only too well what these beautiful companions provide, having received her first Guide Dog when she was just 17.

And now with her eighth Guide Dog Jacob, Ms Thurley wants to ensure that other Tasmanians living with vision loss have the same independence and freedom that she has enjoyed by leaving a gift in her Will to Guide Dogs Tasmania.

“If it wasn’t for the generosity of others, I may not have been so lucky to have had eight wonderful dogs over the past five decades,” Ms Thurley said.

“Guide Dogs have been such a big part of my life and it gives me great purpose to know that I will be helping others when I’m gone.”

Ms Thurley was born with congenital cataracts and by the age of 14 was totally blind.

When she received her first Guide Dog just a few years later, it was like getting her driver’s licence; exciting, but also a bit daunting.

At 17, Ms Thurley had no idea what her future would look like, but 51 years on, she can confidently say that Guide Dogs has allowed her to work, travel, meet new people and most importantly, given her the choice to do what she wants in life.

“I often wonder if I didn’t have a Guide Dog, would I be getting up this morning and getting on with the day?” Ms Thurley said.

Ms Thurley is now at the stage in her life where she wants to ensure she leaves behind a legacy she can be proud of.

“I’ve had so much independence and pleasure from Guide Dogs over my lifetime and leaving a gift in my Will allows me to carry this on to others,” she said.

For more information on how to leave a gift in your Will to Guide Dogs Tasmania, phone (03) 6232 1261 or email bequest@guidedogstas.com.au.

Caption: Merran Thurley with her Guide Dog Jacob.