Support Tania Finlayson in her unique “Dash for Puppy Cash” fundraiser to raise $42,000 for Guide Dogs of America.
Go, Team Tania!
Kirkland, Washington resident Tania Finlayson set off June 8 in her wheelchair and drove 300 miles in a fundraising effort for Guide Dogs of America.
Watch Finlayson explain her motivation in this inspiring video.
Finlayson, who has cerebral palsy and talks through a communication system using Morse Code, speaks beautifully about the gift of independence that a guide dog is to a visually impaired person.
Finlayson hopes to raise $42,000, the complete cost of raising, training, and gifting a guide dog to a blind individual.
Follow Finlayson’s efforts on Facebook at Spokanedash4puppycash and read more about Finlayson, her family, and her supportive friends at International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers AFL-CIO District 751 in Bryan Corliss’s recent Machinists News article.
Blistered Chin, Narrow Bridges Can’t Stop Tania
By Bryan Corliss
GLADSTONE, Ore. — After traveling 275 miles on highways, byways and bike trails, Tania Finlayson wasn’t about to let something like a blistered chin stop her from completing her “Oregon Dash for Puppy Cash.”
Finlayson — confined to a wheelchair her entire life with cerebral palsy — uses her chin to control her electric-motor wheelchair, and when the pain from her rubbed-raw chin got too bad, she drove the last 25 miles with her cheek.
“I’m impressed, but not the least surprised,” said Tom Wroblewski, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751. “Tania’s determination has been the most-important factor throughout all of this effort.”
Finlayson arrived in Gladstone shortly after 4 p.m. on June 13, after completing a 300-mile journey that started June 8 at the District 751′s annual Flight for Sight fun run in Everett, Wash.
She was greeted at the Machinists Union District Lodge W-24 Union Hall by Wroblewski, officers and staff from IAM Districts 751 and W-24 and by a handful of guide dog puppies in training and their handlers from Guide Dogs of America.
Finlayson’s marathon ride was a fundraiser for the California-based charity, which provides guide dogs and training in how to work with them free of charge to people who are blind or have impaired vision from across North America.
It was a grueling journey for Tania, said her husband, Ken, who accompanied her on the trip on his bicycle. “She was really in a lot of pain there toward the end,” he said. “Her chin, her lips, her neck. But she didn’t let it slow her down at all.”
Tania Finlayson has raised more than $26,000 for Guide Dogs of America. Ken Finlayson says his wife will not stop fundraising until she reaches her goal of $42,000, which is the complete cost of fundraising one guide dog team.