My Cane Is Helpful to Me in Many Ways
by Susie D'Mello

From the Editor: Sue Drapinski, Treasurer of the NFB of Michigan, reports that Susie D'Mello is twelve years old and lives in Troy, Michigan. She and her family found the National Federation of the Blind about two years ago through the affiliate's Saturday School tutoring program, in which Federationists work with blind children to help sharpen their skills and build their confidence in themselves as blind people. The program has had a significant impact on the kids. The following is a little essay that Susie D'mello wrote. This is what she said:

My cane is like a best friend to me. It guides me when I walk or go places. It keeps me from running into things, and it lets me know if I am on grass or concrete. At night, especially when I have to walk by myself, my cane really comes in handy. It helps me to go where I need to, and it makes me feel a little bit braver.

My cane helps me get around. I know that I can always ask for help if I cannot find something because of my vision. Most people know that I cannot see when they notice my cane and will assist me in a way that I understand. If I ask for something and the person who is helping me for some reason does not know that I need more help and that I cannot see well, I just ask that person politely to guide me or give me whatever assistance I need. My cane, as you can see, has helped make me more independent.

Whoever invented the cane was brilliant. It may look simple, but I know that it has helped many people in many ways. If I am at a store and I see people staring at me, I do not mind because my cane is helping me, so it is worth being stared at.

I use my cane at school especially when there is a fire drill or tornado drill because everybody is rushing around. I just grab my cane and stick with my class, and I know that I will be just fine. Another good thing is that at school a lot of people know me even when I don't recognize them. They say, "Hi," to me and know why I have the cane, so they do not play with it.

When I go to my piano class, it is dark when I leave, so my cane helps me to get to the car by myself, which is great. If I take a walk, my cane will tell me when the street comes so that I do not just walk off the curb.

Being the only person in school who carries a cane makes me feel kind of special and unique. I like to carry my cane with me. All this proves that my cane helps me a lot because, if you think about it, this essay has covered most of the areas of my life. Maybe other people don't believe it, but I sure know that my cane is like a best friend to me and that I am proud to have one. My cane is great.