Not one to shy away from a challenge, Perth Paralympian Jeremy McClure will be celebrating International Guide Dog Day on 26 April by Abseiling down one of the city’s tallest buildings – QV1.
Jeremy lost 98 per cent of his vision to a genetic condition when he was just 15 years old. Within 6 weeks, Jeremy went from an active member of the South Perth Hockey Club to being legally blind.
“I remember the exact moment when I knew something was wrong. I was crossing the street near my school, and I noticed that buildings and signs in the distance were blurry. After a few weeks, I couldn’t read anything on the whiteboard. And then it got to the point where I couldn’t even see my teacher,” said Jeremy.
In the following months, Jeremy faced a myriad of new challenges at home, at school and in everyday life. Perhaps most frustrating for the teenager was the reality that he could no longer travel independently.
Jeremy sought help from VisAbility and Guide Dogs WA, who provided him with training to use a white cane and in 2008, Jeremy was matched with his faithful Guide Dog, Presley.
Through Presley, Jeremy has learned to see the world through new eyes. Since losing his sight he has inspired people of all ages, exploring the world and travelling to every continent – including Antarctica! Jeremy is also a qualified massage therapist and a talented athlete. He represented Australia in the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Jeremy has chosen to fundraise for Guide Dogs WA “because they have invested so much in me, and I want to show how much I appreciate getting Presley as a Guide Dog”.
“I also want to highlight the benefits of having a Guide Gog and how helpful Guide Dogs WA is to people with vision impairments. It is my way of giving back to Guide Dogs WA.”
Jeremy’s support team on the day will be his parents, wife Heidi, Uncle Dave, and of course his loyal companion Presley, who will no doubt be excitedly wagging his tail as he watches Jeremy descend the QV1 building.
Jeremy aims to raise $5,000 to help raise and train the next generation Guide Dogs in WA, so that more West Australians can experience the freedom, independence and companionship provided by a Guide Dog like Presley.
To share your support of Jeremy and Guide Dogs WA, donate today.
Jeremy’s endeavours are being celebrated as part of International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday April 26. He is an inspiration to us all at Guide Dogs WA. We are grateful for his support in raising awareness of the amazing roles our Guide Dogs play and celebrating International Guide Dog Day!