When Anastasia Pagonis from New York was 14 years old, she started losing her eyesight. It was a quick, 2-month long deterioration that ended with her becoming completely blind. Obviously, it was one of the most difficult experiences she’s had to endure, and there was nothing easier than sinking into anxiety and depression as she was trying to make sense out of her new life.
In the Water
Anastasia’s involvement in swimming had started six months prior to her losing her eyesight. The water was a source of joy and comfort in her life, and when her eyesight was gone, she thought she would have to give up swimming for good. But then, she found something that would help her get back on her feet and inside the pool.
Radar the Good Boy
At her lowest of lows, Anastasia got a call about a guide dog named Radar. Having trained with a hockey team, this guide dog was the perfect fit for an athlete like Anastasia, and the two were making their way toward each other.
The Perfect Match
Radar and Anastasia had a 10-day period to train together and test their new relationship. As they got to know each other, they became inseparable. Now, when the two are in each other’s life forever, Anastasia feels independent again and she has even been able to swim again. In fact, she now has to gold wins as a World Para Swimmer and holds several titles.