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Hi, I'm Cassandra Chiu, a blind Singaporean. I am hoping that you can help me continue my independence and safety through a new Guide Dog. Not easy when you are navigating around in darkness!
2011 marked a turning point in my life. For the very first time, I was able to move around independently, not restricted by my fears and, most of all, not bumping my face (or toes) into things. This was the year I met my very first Guide Dog, Esmé! With her I have finally found the confidence to walk as freely as regular folks.
Over the 7 years of our “marriage”, I have benefited greatly from her loyalty and unwavering love, bringing me to unfamiliar places around the world, travelling thousands of kilometers! So many fond memories… Check them out here!
Recently, Esmé’s age is beginning to show. It is becoming increasingly obvious she can no longer cope with the demands of her working life. With a heavy heart, I have reluctantly made the painful decision to retire my trusted 4-legged angel.
However, without a Guide Dog, I will be returning to the frustrating days of bumbling around in the dark. A white cane works quite differently. It absolutely cannot replace the intelligence of a highly-trained Guide Dog. It cannot read or judge traffic conditions, weave through crowds, find bus-stops, or warn me of stairs and doorways.
Esmé came from the state of Victoria, Australia. I am confident of the quality of their Guide Dog training. It is only natural that I asked for their help! I felt so immensely grateful when Guide Dogs Victoria agreed!
Currently, we are in the process of selecting and training my next Guide Dog. I will need to be in Melbourne for a 3-week on-site training in 2019, to be trained together with Esmé‘s successor. I am conflicted with emotions of both excitement and sadness.
The breeding and training of any Guide Dog takes almost 2 years. It requires hundreds of hours from professionals and will cost tens of thousands of dollars.
I hope to raise $30,000. It is, by no means, the full cost of training a guide dog. But it would help Guide Dogs Victoria continue to be sustainable and enable them to continue to serve their countless clients living with blindness and vision lost. They are not only an amazing school, but also voted Australia’s Most Trusted Charity for the last 6 years.
I am not an organization, in no way is this appeal associated with Guide Dogs Singapore (GDS). Every single dollar you help me with, will go directly towards my next Guide Dog.
I will continue to update you on the progress along the way.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for helping me continue my independence with a new Guide Dog. I am deeply appreciative for your contribution to enable me to live with relative ease, safety, dignity and confidence.
WHAT TREMENDOUS GENEROSITY FROM THE TEAM AT SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT IN CAMBODIA!
WE ARE VERY PLEASE TO ANNOUNCE THAT FOR EVERY US$50 DONATED, YOU GET A CHANCE IN A DRAW, TO WIN A 4-NIGHT STAY, WORTH US$10,000 (OR MORE), IN THE EXCLUSIVE SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND & LUXURY RESORT IN CAMBODIA! (*terms and condition applies)
My publisher Ethos Books is coming on board to support my fundraising campaign!
The first 50 donors with a minimum donation of US$50 donations or purchase of 2 tickets to Run for #FurryEyes will receive a pre-launch copy of my upcoming book, A Place For Us, to be released in March 2019. It is about my experiences as a person living with vision loss and as a social advocate for persons with disability.
From pursuing an education, navigating motherhood, gaining true independence with my guide dog Esme, to my struggles in building a career as a psychotherapist, I discuss the attitudes towards disability that I face in my journey.
With my book A Place For Us, I hope to offer a perspective of a person living with disability and to advocate for a more equal and sustainable future for people with disabilities.
The book will be mailed out to you, so don’t forget to leave your address at check-out. (Keep your eye out for news of the book launch) 😊
Thanks to Ethos Books for this very generous sponsorship of 50 books to help the #furryeyes campaign!
Preparations over the last couple of months have brought me to this point where I am ready to fly over to Melbourne to be trained with my successor guide dog.
Her name is ELKE, and we will be starting our journey as a team together on the 29th of April 2019.
I would really like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone that have supported me on this campaign that has allowed me to continue my journey of independence as a blind person. I would also like to share an opinion piece I wrote that was published yesterday in the Straits Times. Thank you.
Why Singapore has only Eight Guide Dogs : https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/why-singapore...
My training with ELKE at Guide Dogs Victoria has been very successful and I am now home in Singapore with her. ELKE is an amazing guide dog that is Super sharp and focused when working, but also fun loving at home. She has given me back an independence that was slowly declining over the past few months with esme Aging and slowing down. I am also Glad to share with you that Esme is enjoying her life as Lady of leisure in her new home. From the bottom of my heart, I thank each of you for making this possible through my crowd funding campaign.
If you haven’t, join ELKE and I on Facebook and Instagram , please do. I will be sharing our journey in my day-to-day life as a blind person living independently with the help of my guide dog.
Thank you once again.