Two-time Big Brother winner Reggie Bird has shared her desire to travel and see the world “before it’s too late”.
The mother-of-two has Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and vision – and which will eventually leave the star deaf and blind.
Bird was initially diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa before learning she had Usher syndrome.
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In a new Instagram post, the Big Brother fan favourite is seen posing in front of a scenic backdrop of mountaintops and blue sky, and holding her mobility aid.
Fans responded with their encouragement for her to see the world.
“Enjoy every moment day by day and build as many memories as you can… if you want to go away again then do it, don’t have any regrets,” one said.
“Go for it Reggie ❤️ Enjoy life while you feel this way 😍 Life is too short. Follow your dreams my friend 😂,” added another.
The messages comes almost a year after Bird had cataract surgery, where a cataract-affected lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens.
In October 2022, she said she could see “much clearer” after the surgery on her left eye.
“My cataract surgery went well yesterday,” she said on October 27, 2022.
“I was so nervous as my first one I had done three years ago … didn’t go well. They left half the cataract in my eye and it felt like broken glass in it.”
“I then had to go back to my ophthalmologist to have holes lasered in it to fix it.
“Hopefully once it heals up, I will have more clarity in this eye.”
Just three days later, Bird explained how “grateful” she was for being able to witness the sunset in front of her.
“As my eye gets clearer after my cataract surgery I’m sitting here and can see this beautiful sky!” she wrote.
“So beautiful. Cannot explain how much clearer I can see now out of my left eye.”
Bird exclusively told 7Life in October 2022 that, despite her devastating diagnosis, she was choosing to look at everything with a positive outlook – and did not want the news to get her down.
“It was just horrific,” Reggie said of learning the news.
“And I was really down about it for a few days there”.
Usher syndrome will ultimately claim Bird’s hearing and sight, although a timeline is unknown.
She said in a video posted to her Instagram on October 13 that it was “the worst thing you could have”.
But Bird has decided “to show people that you can overcome things and you just got to keep on going, don’t give up”.
The mother-of-two said there was a feeling of “dread, knowing that day is going to come.
“I just want to make the best of every day while I can before it does, but when that time comes, I’ve got things put into place,” she explained.
Bird won both the third and 14th seasons of Big Brother Australia – in 2003 and 2022 respectively.
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