Stacey and Toffee
Stacey grew up with two ambitions: to drive, and to be a nurse. At 18, she went to university to study nursing, staying in her hometown so that she could use the money she would save on accommodation to buy a car. After almost three years of hard work, she was 12 weeks away from graduating when she suddenly became unwell. In hospital, doctors couldn’t tell her what was happening as her kidneys began shutting down and her sight rapidly deteriorated – she was rushed into life-saving surgery. Stacey spent months in hospital recovering but struggled to come to terms with her blindness: “I lost everything. I lost my sight, my career, my driving ,” Stacey explains. “I lost everything that I ever worked in my life to be.”
But Stacey applied for a guide dog. The thought of her future companion pushed her to keep fighting. “The day we graduated from training together was the day my friends graduated as nurses,” Stacey explains. Toffee was there when Stacey had her kidney transplant and all through her recovery – now nothing stops them.
“It’s not the path I thought I was going on, but it’s a different path and it’s better than before… I haven’t got my anxieties because Toffee’s by my side,” Stacey says. “He gave me my life back and it’s taught me that no matter how many hurdles happen in life, you can always get over it.”
Stacey now has a job, has bought a house, and is engaged. Her wedding was postponed because of Covid-19, but Toffee has an important role to play here too; “He’s going to be by my side because he’s the one who got me there.” Toffee is the ring bearer!
Stacey and Toffee’s amazing partnership is highlighted in our new Sponsor a Puppy TV advert, Wall of Dreams. Stacey is eager for people to understand the important role that a guide dog can play in the life of someone with sight loss: “It’s not just a guide dog to help people from A to B, it’s someone’s lifeline.” She hopes that by sharing her story, she will be able to help other people like her.
Sponsor a puppy and watch them grow into a guide dog like Toffee.