The fundraiser wasn’t for me!

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
Keri,
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.

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12 thoughts on “The fundraiser wasn’t for me!

  1. Lol Jeniffer what a bit of a mistaken identity lol.That is disgusting about OJ getting fed. I mean i've heard that some guide dogs who get human food are really sick the next day. My friends dog was fed some meat once and was sick for most of the night. I wouldn't really like the fact that OJ had been fed. For a start, you don't know how many sausages and that he could have got.I hope he wasn't too badly affected today.Good luck to that little girl, but I think that the stem sell thing is a bit of a far fetched idea. I mean that little girl is probably hyped up that it will work, and when it doesn't, she'll be so disappointed, unless she convinces herself that she can see.There was a little girl up here in the north called Dakota clarke. She went when she was like three. The docs couldn't find any changes in her vision when she came back, but I think she and her parents were convinced she could see.Take care, xxx.

  2. Thankfully he's totally fine today and his poo is normal haha.I don't really agree with the stem cell thing either, a friend got it done and it didn't make a difference, and he's in his thirties, so is definitely telling the truth! I hope it works for her, and if not, I hope it doesn't affect her confidence or make her feel that being blind is a bad thing, because like I said, she's an amazing, bright intelligent child who will do well.

  3. And blindness isn't bad at all. My wee 8 year old brother wants to be blind "So that he gets free travel and a guide dog." lol.If i was offered the chance to get my sight back I wouldn't to be honest. I mean why purposefully make yourself have to learn a whole new way of life?Take care, xxx.

  4. Ok, I have talked to you about this treatment and like yourself I would like to wish her well with her treatment. My problem is that I think she is far too young to be going for it. I think that if an adult wants to get this done then I have no problem at all with it. They can understand fully all that is involved and how it possibly might not work and be prepared for that. I don't believe that a child will have the ability to handle it in the same way. Now, on the point of whether or not I would like to be able to see if I was given the chance or told that there was a possibility I just don't know. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I would be curious and that I might look into it further to see what is involved. I wouldn't change any of my life experiences so far that I have had through being blind but I suppose if an opportunity is put in front of you you never know what you might do in the future and how new treatments could give you the chance to have something you thought you could never have.

  5. I have the hardest time making people understand that our guide dog in training can't eat people food. I found a very kind hearted grandfather ignoring me and feeding my last dog under the table. Now my puppy stays home when we go to their house for dinner.

  6. Ditto to what Nicky said! I don't think a 9-year-old is mature enough to make such a huge decision or handle the disappointment if this procedure doesn't work out, and there is a fair chance it wouldn't. Our newspaper actually ran a series about a local girl who went to China for a similar stem-cell procedure and it didn't work out for her. I also think the whole field of stem-cell research is just too new at this time. Once this field is more reliable, I might pursue a treatment myself because I have always been curious about what it would be like to see. But even once this field is more reliable, such treatments should not be pursued until a person, regardless of age, understands the risks of such a procedure and is comfortable enough with their disability that they wouldn't be devastated if it didn't work for them.

  7. People food feeding! Yikes! There are certain houses I don't take Glacier to anymore because they decided that they don't have to listen to me when I said, "no people food."I pretty much diddo what everyone else has said about stem cell research-it's so new and you have no idea what the long term impacts could be. I mean look at blood transfusions which have become so commonplace. In the 1980's hundreds and hundreds of people contracted AIDs and Hepititis because of contaminated blood. Now, we know that the blood donations need to be screened.And don't even get me started on the emotional readiness of someone to have such a procedure done.

  8. Jen, that sounds like a fundraiser and a half!! Glad you could keep your sense of humour about it all!Many thanks for your comment the other day on Murray's summer – really appreciated it!Have a good weekendFiona

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