Would you let someone wax you blindfolded? Probably not, but that’s exactly what 12 eager men are doing on April 20.
Zoe Stinson, from Moygashel, is organising a never-been-done-before fundraiser with a difference for RNIB after the charity supported her with her son’s sight loss diagnosis.
The Waxing in the Dark event will take place on Saturday, April 20 at Davison’s Bar, Castlecaulfield, Dungannon with the first wax kicking off at 8.30pm.
It is Zoe’s hope that it will raise funds for RNIB who have been supportive in helping the 27-year-old mum deal with her one-year-old son Harley’s sight condition.
Little Harley has been diagnosed with bilateral coloboma of his iris retina and optic discs and a scarring of the maculas and the condition means Harley will be visually impaired for the rest of his life. With the help of RNIB, Zoe and her partner Andrew are coming to terms with their son’s diagnosis and want to give something back.
Zoe said: “Organising this fundraiser has helped me accept Harley’s condition. The more I talk about it to people, the more I understand it and the better I am becoming at being able to deal with it all.”
Zoe knew something wasn’t right with Harley’s sight when he was just a few weeks old.
“It was like his pupils were bleeding into the whites of his eyes,” recalls Zoe, who has two older children, Summer, (7) and Levi (4).
“People kept telling me it was just taking a while for his eyes to focus but I knew something wasn’t right. For the first few months, it was like he was looking straight through me. He didn’t notice me properly until he was six months old.”
After input form RNIB’s Childrens, Young People and Families team, Zoe decided she wanted to do something and in just two short days, had put together the Waxing in the Dark fundraising event.
She continued: “I wanted to raise money to help support other children in Northern Ireland who are also visually impaired, so my best friend Jamielea Tate and I went onto RNIB’s website and discovered the Dine in the Dark concept, whereby people can raise money by having dinner blindfolded. We thought of the waxing idea and it all came from there.”
Zoe added: “Roisin Meagher from RNIB has been great, she has been checking on us and ensuring I was in touch with another charity called Angel Eyes and we’re hopefully going to get something set up in my local area as currently, there isn’t any support for parents of blind or partially sighted children.”
Roisin Meagher, from RNIB’s Childrens, Young people and Families team, said: “We are so grateful to Zoe and her family for fundraising for us, especially when they are so new to the service. To organise everything in such a short space of time too is incredible. It will no doubt be a fab night, not to be missed.”
Roisin explained: “The RNIB’s Childrens, Young people and Families team, covers the Dungannon area and now with our partners Angel Eyes, we are hoping to hold a regular monthly group for parents to chat and share experiences.
“For me, creating opportunities for parents to connect and share knowledge is one of the most vital parts of my job and it’s thanks to our funders The Southern Trust and people like Zoe who go out of their way to help, that we can.”
Zoe concluded: “It is very daunting for us all at the moment as doctors are still unsure with regards to the extent of Harley’s condition. We know he has no vision in his left eye but we’re unsure about the level of sight in his right eye. We’re sort of in limbo until we know more. This fundraiser is giving us something positive to focus on.”
To donate to Zoe’s Harley Fundraiser, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/harleyrnib
If you would like to support RNIB’s work with children, young people and families in the Mid Ulster area, don’t hesitate to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (07879 435 231) for ideas.