The other day, I heard that Ed Eames wasn’t doing well and was probably not going to make it. Now, I’ve heard the news that he’s gone, and I feel like such an idiot for not knowing exactly who he was. I had seen the name in connection with guide dog-related advocacy projects, and knew he was quite active. That’s an understatement. He co-founded IAADP, which we have linked over on the side. That’s no small feat! My god he must have worked his tail off to get all those sponsorships. All guide dog users owe a lot to him whether we know it or not. I only wish I had met him.
Here is the press release I received. It has all the necessary info if people feel the need to donate or send cards or whatever.
It is with great sadness that I report the death of my colleague and one of the assistance dog movement’s greatest champions, Ed Eames, Ph.D., IAADP’s (International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, www.iaadp.org) co-founder and President.
Ed’s spouse Toni (also blind and partnered with her guide dog) has asked that in lieu of anything, contributions in Ed’s honor to IAADP would be most appreciated. We have set up a special Memorial section with a few photo highlights to remember Ed by, as well as an opportunity to make a memorial donation at www.iaadp.org. We also invite you to leave a personal message that Toni would like to collect for a keepsake book for our organization. Alternatively, your gifts or cards can be mailed to: Toni Eames at 3376 N. Wishon, Fresno, CA 93704.
Ed had successful heart surgery two years ago. Very recently a blood borne infection sent him to the hospital. Recovery looked very positive until ten days ago, when several debilitating strokes occurred and quickly claimed his life. Ed was called to our Lord at dawn on Oct. 26.
IAADP was launched in 1993 at a historic meeting organized by Ed, Toni and Joan Froling in St. Louis, held in conjunction with the Assistance Dogs International Conference. Its overall mission has been to empower disabled persons with guide, hearing and service dogs to work together to foster the assistance dog movement through our global networking publication, “Partners Forum,” many important advocacy and education campaigns, peer support projects, our website and conferences that enabled partners and programs to learn from each other. We have grown from a handful of advocates to more than 2500 Partner members over the last sixteen years, led by a volunteer board of assistance dog partners elected by the membership.
Ed was our friend and an extraordinary advocate. He forged relationships with corporations around the world and with his easy going “ask” brought untold benefits to us. Ed knew full-well that the majority of us teamed with guide, hearing and service dogs were on the lower income scale. His advocacy to garner support for our canines was only matched by his tireless advocacy for our access rights. Among other things, Ed and Toni also traveled throughout the USA each year and to other countries with their guide dogs, lecturing at veterinary schools and veterinary conferences about the special role that veterinarians play in maintaining the team, to educate them about IAADP, raise disability awareness and to ask veterinarians to consider free or discounted veterinary services for assistance dog teams.
There will be a memorial service for Ed in the near future. I’ll provide further details about that as they become available.
Please join me in saying Good bye to my dear friend, Ed Eames. And to Toni, join me in support of the next chapter of her life. We can not fill the void left but we can walk with her.
Kevin Frankeberger, Ph.D., CFRE
Board Member, IAADP