Last night I went to a fundraiser in a pub in Greencastle, about forty minutes from where I live. It was a barbecue and raffle, to raise money for
who will be going to China for stem cell treatment to possibly help restore her sight. I work with Keri regularly in her school. She’s a great child with an amazing personality, which is why the presenter of ICR’s talk show instantly decided to organise the fundraiser after interviewing her.
My PA drove OJ and I down, and the rain just about stayed off for the barbecue. Everybody was very friendly and of course O.J was the centre of attention as usual. While I was being chatted up by a creepy Latvian fella with English that was almost impossible to understand, O.J got some water and was put in a small room beside the bar where we were sitting. It meant that drunk people couldn’t stand on him, but he could still see what was going on. The subject of feeding guide dogs came up briefly at one stage, but the barman obviously forgot. When we came inside after getting food, he told me that O.J had been “fed and watered” and was happily sleeping. Apparently he only gave him half of a bun, but I think he told me that when he saw my reaction and realised that I wasn’t impressed. After all, who would give a labrador with puppydog eyes a bun, when there were burgers and sausages on offer as well! I did mention the no feeding rule before, but obviously wasn’t serious enough, so I couldn’t really get annoyed at him .
The fact that O.J was fed when he wasn’t supposed too was the least of my problems. When we got there we realised that Keri and her family were unable to make it to the event. People kept talking about how the funraiser was for a blind girl who wanted to get her sight back, and since I was the only blind person there, lots of them got the wrong idea. The woman singing announced what the money was being raised for, and a few people smiled over at me sympathetically. A couple of them tapped me on the shoulder as they were walking past and wished me good luck. I have no intentions of trying to have my sight restored. I wrote about it here
a couple of years ago
and nothing has changed since. I spent the rest of the evening clarifying that I wasn’t Keri, and I wasn’t going to China any time soon. The last thing I want is for people to see me out with my guide dog in a years time and think, either my opporation didn’t work and feel sorry for me, or that I scammed them all because I never even went to China.
Luckily I have a good sense of humour about these things. Seriously though, I hope things go well for Keri. She will go far whatever happens, regardless of whether she has sight or not.