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Guide Dog Helps Triathlete Chase Her Paralympic Dream

Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon shares the story of how she found her guide dog, Elvis, and how he's helped her pursue her dream.

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Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon shares the story of how she found her guide dog, Elvis, and how he’s helped her pursue her dream.

Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as “a death sentence” at the time, Dixon, 38, is now a champion triathlete pursuing her dream of making the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her guide dog, a Labrador named Elvis, has been with her every step of the way for the past six years.

“From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, your life is different in every possible positive way you can imagine,” Dixon told TODAY on Friday about her experience getting a guide dog. “Not just because you know that you’re going to be safe 100 percent of the time, (but also) that you’ve got a companion. You’re not going through a very difficult disease alone.”

Throughout Dixon’s journey becoming a world-ranked competitor, Elvis has been a crucial part of her success.

“To have Elvis accompany me to every race and be at every finish line and lick the sweat off of my face when I’m done, I am so, so lucky,” she said.

At 22 years old, Dixon was diagnosed with a rare form of uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye that drastically reduced her peripheral vision and left her legally blind. Working as a sommelier and buyer for a national corporation, Dixon was devastated by the news.

Read more and watch the video: Today.com

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