Y12 student Caitlin Ronan who is currently studying A-levels in Business, Maths and Accounting at JM Sixth Form, suffers from a progressive neurological disease called CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy). Impressively she has been continuing to raise money for an Eyegaze system for others after experiencing the new found independence that she has gained from using her own system. Following on from the Sixth Form Sponsored Walk in September and other lower school events held during the Autumn term, on Sunday 29 November, Head Girl, Beth Hiley and Y12 Lucy Admans visited Caitlin to present a cheque for over £600. The girls spent three hours chatting together and both Beth and Lucy were in awe of Caitlin and found both her and the family truly inspirational. They said seeing the Eyegaze equipment working was incredible and they could see the huge benefits it brings to Caitlin. Both girls have continued to visit Caitlin to enjoy film nights and three other students (Amber, Morgan and Lizzie) have been regular visitors and recently presented a second cheque for money raised by students.
In March 2016, Caitlin sent us an update on her fundraising campaign:
In total I have received over £26,000 to date which is amazing and thank you again to everyone who donated – your support is really appreciated. I am really enjoying the extra independence that the Eyegaze System has given me and now have a mount attached to the side of my bed so that I can access the system easily. Apart from a few teething problems with the internet everything is now going well.
I asked Smartbox to identify two further people who could benefit from an Eyegaze System and I am delighted to say that I was able to give a lovely young lad from Aberdeenshire a wonderful surprise Facetime call to say that I would like to purchase an Eyegaze System for him. It was lovely to see his reaction and I am so pleased that I can improve his life in this way and give him more independence and freedom now and in the future.
Finlay who is 10 and suffers from cerebral palsy is a very bright lad who is apparently mad about football, and has been trialling an Eyegaze system. His mum said that it could not have come at a better time for him as it has given him the added incentive to establish everything that the Eyegaze system can do for him both now and as he becomes a young adult. We are looking forward to getting to know Finlay and his family and it will be great to be able to chat to him via Skype through the Eyegaze.
I will update you further once we have more information and hopefully Smartbox will be able to identify a third person who could benefit from such a life changing system. I can’t wait until Finlay gets his own Eyegaze System which will help in many ways.
Thanks again to everyone for their continued support.
Caitlin Ronan – Y12
If you would like to help please visit her sponsorship page for more information. www.gofundme.com/2y2zba7w