Blind Student to Graduate From Lynchburg College With Help of Dog
Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg College student is preparing to graduate this month with his dog.
John Pastorius, 22, and his dog Houston are inseparable. John says he couldn't have made it to graduation day without the support of his mother and the guidance of his dog.
Pastorius from Smithfield hasn't had the easiest life.
"Kids in high school are just mean. They used to break my cane and make me go look for it."
He was born with leukemia. Nerve damage from the disease left him legally blind.
"I can see whether the lights are on or off. Right now I can see that the lights are on."
When John came to LC, he ditched the cane and got a guide dog. The two stayed in a dorm together and went to class together, though Houston wasn't a fan of early mornings.
"Sometimes he'd snore or dream in class. He's a typical college person."
John majored in his passion: Music. Country is his favorite.
"You make we wanna roll my windows down and cruise. I love that song," he said.
If John hasn't faced enough challenges. In August, he and Houston will move cross country to Washington State - just the two of them. That's where John will learn to study to tune pianos by ear.
"Out of tune would be going womp womp womp and if it's in tune it should just go...bing."
John credits his mother for instilling independence in him at a young age. Looking back, he couldn't be more grateful.
"Thank you, because I wouldn't be where I am today."
Many may wonder how did he study? John used screen reading software called JAWS. His teachers would email tests and study sheets to him, and the computer would read it aloud.