21 October, 2022

Blind runner changing lives with new book

A SURVIVOR of domestic violence and also an actress, model, songwriter, motivational speaker and running enthusiast, Janice Whittle may be legally blind but she is refusing to let that stop her.

Janice Whittle with her guide dog Keegan at Lisa’s Willow Tree Café, the location of her November book launch.
Janice Whittle with her guide dog Keegan at Lisa’s Willow Tree Café, the location of her November book launch.

Now the Morayfield resident can also add book author to her list of accomplishments, as she is set to release her new book “Running for my Life” in November.

After being diagnosed as legally blind at a young age, Janice’s life has been far from smooth sailing, particularly when she was physically unable to remove herself from domestic violence.

After much encouragement from her friends, she finally “plucked up the courage” to speak about her past in her new book.

“My motto is ‘If I can do it, you can too’.

“Whether you have or are currently experiencing domestic violence, disability, sexual abuse, discrimination, homelessness, or failure of the system.

“It can be one or several, but I have experienced them all, and as I tell everybody ‘I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor’.

“I am hoping my book gives people the understanding of power within, rather than the power of the perpetrator or offender.

“It is your journey, and it is your decision of which path to take and more importantly, when to take that path.”

Janice said she designed the front cover of the book herself and chose to self-publish to avoid over-edition.

“It also takes two years to publish if you go through an agency. “I don’t know if I have two years left.”

After backpacking around the world, starring in several movies, documentaries, magazines, books and TV series, Janice now spends her weekends travelling around Queensland participating in parkrun.

“There are several reasons why I started doing parkrun, but two main reasons.

“The first is I want to remove the stigma from the tattoo community and the second is I want to teach kids about guide dogs.

“I tell them that if they beat their PB then I will take Keegan out of his harness and let them pat him.”

Janice is currently working towards achieving the title of “statesman” which is awarded to runners who complete every parkrun in a state.

Of the 117 parkruns in Queensland, Janice has completed 107 and is set to finish the challenge on December 10 at the St Lucia parkrun.

“My plan is to continue running.

“Not running from the offender or abuser but running for the joy of it every Saturday morning and volunteering at children’s runs every Sunday morning.”

Janice said she doesn’t care if her book helps one person or a 1000 people, as long as it gives someone the courage to walk away from domestic violence, report it or even start parkrun.

“Regardless how imperfect my life has been, I have always tried to make the most of it.

“I like to think that if you can’t be a designated driver, then you’ll just have to be the designated drinker.”

Janice will host a book launch at Lisa’s Willow Tree Café on Friday November 11 at 2.30pm.

“I chose Lisa’s Willow Tree Café as I believe in supporting small businesses but more importantly, Lisa has welcomed my guide dog Keegan, into her café.

“Although guide dogs are legally allowed to enter cafes, restaurants, motels, retail outlets, public transport, etc, we have experienced so much discrimination and refusal of entry, but Lisa makes us feel very welcome.

“Plus, her food is amazing!”

Tickets for the book launch are $30 and include a book, afternoon tea and Q&A session.

Tickets can be purchased at and once released, Janice’s book can be purchased at genrfml.  


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