Caption: After battling anxiety and depression from losing her eyesight, Anastasia Pagonis found joy in competitive swimming.
But when she was 14 years old — around the time a little Labrador retriever named Radar became the first “Puppy with a Purpose” for the Isles — Pagonis rapidly lost her vision over the course of two months.
“Being a teenage girl is hard, so having that on top of it was just such a struggle for me,” she told TODAY. “It took me about eight months to kind of regroup myself, and then I got it in my head, ‘OK, I’m blind. Now what am I going to do with my life?’”