Rachael is a woman who wears many hats: Mother, award-winning PhD student, published writer, music therapist, the list goes on. Her latest endeavour, raising money for sick children through the Starlight Super Swim program, is just another hat for her to wear, and she’s not letting her vision loss get in the way of that.
Rachael has always been a fan of swimming, dating back to her childhood. Her mother would have to coax her out of the pool or ocean at the end of each summer day.
“I’ve always been a strong swimmer” she says. “Growing up I earned lifesaving badges as part of my school’s curriculum, it’s always been a part of my life.”
As Rachael approached her 40’s, she began to have issues with her eyes and was eventually diagnosed with Severe Strabismus (double vision) as well as Monocular Diplopia, double vision in each eye. As you can imagine, this has impacted her swimming and her life in general in various ways.
As has been the case with too many careers, COVID-19 has had an impact on Rachael’s livelihood. She’s a fully-trained music teacher and therapist who plays at various aged-care facilities, helping the residents through music, specifically the flute. Her studies and her work as an author have taken a hit since her vision diagnosis as she now struggled to look at any computer screen for prolonged periods of time.
After a recent incident during an ocean swim where she was unable to keep a track on swimmers she was following, Rachael has adapted to using some safeguards to make sure she can continue swimming in a safe way. This has enabled Rachel to raise money through Starlight Super Swim doing pool laps. She explains why it is so important to her to be able to give back.
“As someone living with low vision I thought this could be a way I could give back” she said. “We live in a world where not-for-profit organisations are doing it tough, yet there’s still sick kids who need as much help as they can get.”
At the time of writing, Rachael is only $100 from her fundraising goal, and we’d love to see her go above and beyond that.
You can support Rachael on her swimming endeavours by visiting https://superswim.org.au/rachael-bareket