Christmas shopping in the dark - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Christmas shopping in the dark

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Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, not just finding the perfect gift, but also dealing with the crush of people in the stores.

Imagine trying to do that without your sight.

The Evansville Blind Association has a program to help people who have recently lost their sight get around.

It's Christmas time at Eastland Mall.

If the bundles of shopping bags in peoples hands don't give it away, the Christmas deals will, but for Phillip Grimm this is not a typical Christmas.

"This is the first Christmas that I actually have been this blind," said Phillip.

Phillip has diabetes, about 2 years ago it started to affect his eyesight.

Today he is completely blind out of his right eye and can only make out shapes in about half of his left.

"I can somewhat get to areas I know, I kind of know where in the store it's located, but I can't really differentiate Tide from Whisk and stuff," said Phillip.

This summer, Phillip started working with Jennifer Perry from the Evansville Blind Association to learn how to walk with a white cane.

"Pretty much it's one of my, it's like an extension of me. It helps me judge if it's straight, cracks," said Perry. "There are still ways to do may of the things they used to be able to do. It's just that we have to relearn it in not a visual way."

"I rely more on people and their good nature to help me out," said Phillip.

Phillip can still make out the outline of the bill he is about to pay with, but if he can't he just asks the cashier.

"Before I wasn't a people person and I didn't talk to people. Just wanted to get my stuff done and leave. Where now I kind of interact with people and get to know their background," said Phillip.

He may have lost his vision, but it seems like his perception is clearer than ever

"I see somewhat the humanity. The interaction between people and stuff is somewhat important to better everybody's lives," said Phillip.

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