When Connor Colquhoun, also known as CDawgVA, met fellow streamer Ironmouse, the two online personalities clicked. With several years of experience as a streamer, YouTuber, podcast producer, and voice actor, Colquhoun mentored Ironmouse, a rising star in the streaming world. The pair streamed weekly, playing video games together and bantering about a multitude of topics.
“I thought she was a very interesting and unique person,” said Colquhoun. “It just became a very good team. It’s always nice to have somebody who you can always rely on and always delivers. We’re great friends, but we also work really well together professionally. We just became very close.”
Not surprisingly, Colquhoun thought Ironmouse, a virtual YouTuber who only appears online as her anime-style character, would enjoy a trip to Japan, where he resides and creates online content focusing on Japanese culture. But when he invited her for a visit, Ironmouse declined, not because she didn’t want to make the trip but because she couldn’t make the trip. Ironmouse has primary immunodeficiency (PI), specifically common variable immune deficiency (CVID), and symptoms, as well as the risk of infection, prevent her from traveling.
“At the time, I was like, ‘Japan is awesome. You should come and check it out,’ and then I found out she can’t come and check it out, unfortunately,” said Colquhoun.
Now that Colquhoun understands the challenges that Ironmouse and all people with PI face, the 26-year-old uses his talents to raise funds for the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF). In 2022, he rode his bike 500 miles for eight days and raised $320,000 from viewers who watched the live-streamed cyclathon. This year, Colquhoun again biked through Japan for a week and a half, live streaming eight hours a day on Twitch, and raised more than $500,000 for IDF. In between those efforts, he hosted an online auction that raised over $55,000 for the organization.
Next week, Colquhoun will present the CDawgVA Charity Auction in Los Angeles, his most ambitious effort yet to generate funds to support IDF and the PI community. Set for Thursday, June 29, from 3-6 p.m. Pacific Time, the CDawgVA Charity Auction is an in-person and online event that features Colquhoun as the host auctioning off items that belong to him, as well as several other prominent streamers.
Online participants can watch the event live by visiting Colquhoun’s Twitch account during the auction date and time. Those interested in donating or buying an auction item should follow these steps:
Auction entries include items from Colquhoun’s anime collection and opportunities to appear in his videos, a handmade painting by Swedish YouTuber PewDie Pie, streaming time with Ironmouse, chess lessons from a chess streamer, and a Vespa from YouTuber Ludwig.
Colquhoun’s goal is to raise $1 million dollars for IDF.
“I feel like I’m in a very fortunate position where I’m able to live very comfortably off what I do, and I felt like even if I wouldn’t raise a crazy amount, as somebody in such a privileged position, I should at least use my platform occasionally to raise money for these kinds of events and this kind of cause. It just felt very natural to do,” said Colquhoun.
Born and raised in Wales, Colquhoun discovered video games as a youngster, playing Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 on hand-me-down consoles. His parents would have preferred him to be outdoors playing sports rather than indoors on a screen.
“My parents loathed me playing it, but I remember seeing it as a kid. You see these animations and these graphics, and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, this looks so cool,’” he said.
After much begging from their 8-year-old son, Colquhoun’s parents bought him a Game Boy with a Pokemon game on it in French. Colquhoun beat the game without knowing a word of the language.
“I remember playing that game far too much, and that was just kind of the start for me. After that, I was completely hooked on video gaming, and I’ve never really stopped,” he said.
As a teen, Colquhoun’s interest in anime-inspired him to create videos about the Japanese style of animation, and he also began experimenting with different voices, which he’d practice while playing video games with others online.
“Anime does this thing—it really sucks you into these worlds. I was so infatuated with the idea of portraying one of these characters,” he said.
While pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at a university in Wales, Colquhoun simultaneously honed his voice-acting skills at a school in London and continued to make weekly YouTube videos. Once he had his degree, his parents supported him in his voice-over and YouTube endeavors.
“I was near certain I could make this work. I thought, ‘I’m good at this stuff. I know I can do it if I commit myself,’” said Colquhoun. “I started getting a little money from it, which kind of blew my mind. The first time you get five dollars from something you created, you’re like, ‘Woah, this is amazing.’ That was life-changing because prior to that, it was pretty much savings I had from a prior job at McDonald’s and a loan for education to live on… I realized that if my videos can get more views, I think I can pay off this loan and live off this. Even though it’s not a great living, it’s just enough to survive.”
In 2019, after living in London for two years, Colquhoun received an offer to move to Japan and create content related to Japanese culture.
“That changed everything. That’s when everything blew up for me,” he said.
Today, Colquhoun travels around Japan and streams videos that focus on unique experiences like a weekend out visiting an abandoned mining town and bungee jumping, spending 24 hours on a sleeper train, and touring Japan in an RV. He also produces a podcast, Trash Taste, with other young streamers, and he continues to build his voice-acting career.
Somehow, he also manages to squeeze in fundraising for IDF.
“Sometimes you gain a lot more than you realize from doing a philanthropic event. As a content creator and as a person, you grow so much more being able to do these kinds of events and being able to give back as opposed to always doing events that are all about yourself,” said Colquhoun.
“I found that it was just very rewarding mentally, and being able to help people and give people a reason to get involved in something, I found that really impactful and more beneficial to me than any other kind of event where I would personally benefit.”
Join us at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk in Chicago, IL, from June 20-22! The conference offers three days of connection, learning, and networking and features up-to-date information from world-renowned healthcare professionals and life management experts.Register now
Receive news and helpful resources to your cell phone or inbox. You can change or cancel your subscription at any time.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation improves the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for every person affected by primary immunodeficiency.
We foster a community that is connected, engaged, and empowered through advocacy, education, and research.
Combined Charity Campaign | CFC# 66309