Blindness No Roadblock for Colorado Woman

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Gail Selfridge, a member of Horizon Community Christian Reformed Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., realized a dream when she worked on a Habitat for Humanity house in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, last fall.

Selfridge, who is blind, had always wanted to do something to help others. Her opportunity came when she got a new guide dog named Alisse and met the puppy's trainer, Eydie Yemmans.

Yemmans was a Habitat for Humanity team leader who was hoping to include someone with visual impairments in a house-building project to show that people who are blind have much to contribute in the service of others.

Yemmans invited Selfridge to join the team, along with George Wertzel, who is also visually impaired. Selfridge's church helped her raise the needed funds, and in October she and Alisse flew to Puerto Vallarta. The project was the first to include people with visual impairments on the team.

Selfridge sifted sand, loaded rocks into buckets, and handed cement blocks to Wertzel and others who were putting them in place. She said the way the Mexican people treated her was exhilarating. "The people were wonderful—they never acted like I couldn't do what needed to be done, and they weren't afraid to steer me in the right direction."

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