Ever since I read the story of Amiee Langdon, the toddler partially blinded by dog poo, I think about her every time I see a dog's mess left behind somewhere.
There the 2-year-old was just walking along, when she tripped and landed in it. All of a sudden she's infected with toxocariasis and loses 75 percent of her sight in one eye.
It's one of those unfair, preventable tragedies that makes us seethe and worry for our own families.
Today, the 2-year-old is doing fine, though she will likely never be able to drive a car or do many other things she would have been able to do otherwise if it weren't for one person's inconsiderate, lazy decision not to clean up after his or her dog.
But instead of bitterly bemoaning what's been lost, Amiee and her family are working to help prevent the same thing from happening to others.
Amiee is serving as the face of a month-long campaign in Britain that boasts catchy taglines like "Bag that poo - any rubbish bin will do" and "there's no such thing as the Dog Poo Fairy", which will be placed on buses and billboards throughout the city.
"Amiee's condition is the consequence of a thoughtless dog owner," Amiee's mother, Suzanne, told Manchester radio station key103. "How can I explain to a two-year-old that she will be unable to see out of one eye ever again? I just want to raise awareness and make people think about what their dogs leave behind."
When faced with tragedy like this, or even worse, there's always a choice people have to make -- whether to be bitter or let it consume them, or to use it to educate people, to try and prevent it from happening to someone else.
The role of an inspirational spokesperson due to loss or tragedy of any kind is one no one wishes for, but to embrace it fully when it presents itself, as the Langdon family seems to be doing, is admirable. And what a wonderful lesson both taught and learned by this toddler.
Best wishes to the family, and please remember Amiee next time you take your dog out for a walk.
Have you ever used a personal tragedy to help inspire other?
Image via Manchester Evening News