Callum's fundraiser for Guide Dogs
Fundraising for Guide Dogs
Verified by JustGiving
For those that don't know me I am Callum Stoneman and I have been completely blind from birth due to Norrie Disease. I have always enjoyed getting out and always wanted to do this independently. I could sort of do this with the white cane, but still never felt completely confident travelling by myself.
In Feb 2016, I was matched with my first and only Guide Dog, Iggy, and this changed everything. Everyone who has had a guide dog says they are life changing, and in my case this could not be more accurate. Between 2016 and now, I have moved out of my family home to university and lived on my own in student accommodation, got my degree in Computer Networks & Security, moved in with my girlfriend, got married, started working full-time and travelled to so many places during all of that (too many to list here). All of this would not have been possible without Iggy. She was always so ready to work, so excited and confident even when I wasn't, she was quite literally my eyes, my knight in shining armour, my world. Her training was followed by the children's TV programme Blue Peter, so I have also had the unforgettable experience of being part of some of the Blue Peter shows as well as several other TV and Radio shows particularly when I first got matched with her. She loved her Blue Peter experience so much that she would jump up and look around getting excited when the theme tune came on or when she heard Lindsey Russell's voice.
On the 27th of Feb 2023 (three weeks ago at the time of writing this), Iggy passed away after a very short illness. She was the most incredible Guide Dog and companion for 7 years, by my side through every up and down in my life, always ready to work and always having her cheeky and playful personality to bring a smile to everyone who met her. Guide Dogs have been amazingly supportive throughout this difficult time.
We are now looking to raise £10,000 to name a Guide Dog puppy Iggy. It costs £50,000 to train a Guide Dog, and they rely completely on donations so we hope to be able to donate a good chunk towards a Guide Dog's training. It is thanks to Guide Dogs that I now live the life I do, and we would like to not only give back to Guide Dogs, but also give someone else the chance to have their own life-changing Iggy.
We know that times are tough for many right now and we are asking for a lot of money here, but any amount you can give is really appreciated. Even if you're not able to donate that's absolutely fine, just reading our story and sharing this with your family and friends is enough.
In terms of me and my future I'm currently going through the steps to get on the waiting list for another Guide Dog. Once I'm on the list it's likely to be a minimum of an 18 month wait so I'm sure you can imagine just how difficult this loss is. Not only have I lost my best friend, I now have to put up with the cane that she hated me using (because it meant she wasn't going to work) for the foreseeable future until I finally get matched again. Iggy has been so life-changing that every little thing I can do to raise more donations, awareness or volunteers for Guide Dogs is definitely worth every second.