Just one year after she became the first Australian woman to win the reality show, Sorensen was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition known as retinitis pigmentosa. Specialists told the then-29-year-old she would eventually lose her vision.
That was 2004; more than a decade later, the single mum of two is now legally blind.
“I’ve lost my peripheral vision and I’ve got 10 degrees of central vision left. I have no night vision,” she explained during a segment on The Daily Edition yesterday.
Sorensen also highlighted the difficulty and frustration of living with an ‘invisible’ health condition, telling hosts Sally Obermeder and Tom Williams, “unless I have my cane with me, people [don’t] realise I have low vision.”
“Sometimes when I forget to take my cane to the shops and I bang into people … they look at me because I’m so young and just think I’m being rude,” she explained.
“Even when you’re getting a taxi — I’ve had a few say, ‘You’re only going up the road, why can’t you walk?’ Things like that upset me’.”