ROBYN IS HERE!!!! Wow! Has this been a long journey! The trainer flew her in Wednesday and we've been in hardcore family training since then. There have been hiccups along the way but we managed to get through it. Robyn and Alaina are very much alike and Robyn is such a sweet and beautiful (and LARGE) dog. She sleeps with Alaina every night and they are already growing a bond that will eventually be unbreakable. Alaina is very patient and confident with Robyn and we've already noticed a HUGE change in Alaina. She has come out of her shell more, is talking more, and we appear to have already avoided several seizures. There is a long road ahead and I foresee many hiccups along the way but it's completely worth it and we realize more and more every day that Alaina truly needs this. We still are working to pay her off but aren't too worried and have total faith that all will work out in the end. Thank you for your love and support!
Hello Everyone! We are SO VERY EXCITED to have Robyn in our home in less than 2 weeks!!! Alaina is talking about her EVERY day now and we haven't even told her that Robyn is coming yet...maybe she can sense it. With every day we get closer and all the preparation we are doing with the therapists and teachers to set up meetings and training with the SD trainer we are just that much more excited. Nathan has taken off of work to be there for the family lectures and all the appointments are set. This is a new step in Alaina's life and it will be such a relief to have her. In the meantime, Alaina is having seizures almost daily now and her speech has regressed. We have just increased her medications and are doing some small diet changes in hopes that those things will help. It's so hard to see her go through this but we are working hard to help her through it.
We are still working to pay off the Service Dog and could really use more donations so we would really appreciate all your help in continuing to get the word out and keeping our little Alaina in your prayers. Much love!
Alaina will be making history at the end of October as the first preschooler in the state of Washington to have a Service Dog in the classroom and her school will be the first preschool in the state of Washington to have a Service Dog in the classroom. We are SO excited to see this happening and it turns out that we aren't the only ones. King 5 news and the Issaquah press will be doing stories on Alaina and her dog and we are working to get other newspapers involved as well. Maybe some announcements on the radio. We are so very excited to be taking this next step and cannot wait to welcome Robyn into our home in the end of October! Keep us all in your prayers that we can hold out till then and the transition goes smoothly.
Today was Alaina's appointment with the vision specialist to see if the last 2 months of therapy has helped and to determine if she will need surgery. There were 2 things they were looking for ; 1 has her vision improved? 2 Is there any peripheral movement improvement in her left eye? To be honest, I have had nightmares for 2 weeks now in anticipation of the answers to these questions because the other doctors and therapists we've worked with for years now have all said that therapy isn't working and she will most likely end up completely blind eventually. Needless to say, my hopes were not high with this new doctor. However, through tears of joy I listened to the best news I've heard in quite a long time. My little girls vision has improved after only 2 month of this therapy approach!!! Alaina's left eye went from 20/60 with glasses to 20/25 with glasses! I am ABSOLUTELY amazed and grateful and feel so blessed and happy! All your prayers have worked! Unfortunately, there was no peripheral movement improvement so she will still need the surgery but now my faith is renewed and I have complete faith that we are working with the right doctors and she is exactly where she needs to be. This couldn't come at a better time. Now we just need our Robyn(the service dog) here so we can get Alaina through the surgery and she can keep improving without a seizure causing her to regress. Please continue to share! Thank you all so, so much!
Please keep Alaina in your prayers. Thursday she has an appointment with her vision specialist to determine if she will need surgery on one of her eyes. This is both scary and relieving. It will be nice to have answers but difficult to see the little one go through yet another surgery. Please pray for her and the family that we can all get through this and stay strong. In other news, Alaina still does not have the strength in her leg that they would like to see at this point but the summer weather has helped her increase exercise so we hope to see more improvements. Robyn, the service dog, will be here in October and everyone is very excited to have her here for Alaina's school and therapy and for the possible surgery she has coming up and recovery from her last one. We still haven't raised the funds we need but have it in our hopes and prayers that we can get the word out enough to pay for it all. Please share this on your wall. The more who share the more the word gets out and the better chance our little girl has of getting Robyn sooner. Thank you so very much!!!
Hello everyone! Just wanted to post this update to send you all a big THANK YOU for your continued love and support! We are very excited to see Alaina making so many improvements. She has met several of her Occupational and Physical therapy goals and they have decided to add new ones and start to test her reactivity. With the guidance of doctors and Alaina's therapists we have decided to switch her speech therapy goals from working on perfectly saying individual words to just working on short phrases to get her point across. I have seen that I and the people around her are already starting to understand her more. Unfortunately, she will never be able to speak like a typically developing person does but at least she will be able to express her basic needs. In vision therapy we also have new goals. If her vision doesn't improve some within a few months then she will need surgery but we are working hard to avoid that. Thank you for your love! Please continue to share this update on your Facebook to help spread the word. Much love!!! Www.gofundme.com/servicedogforalaina
The love and support we have received from everyone has been amazing and this makes it so much closer to getting Alaina's service dog. We are so excited to know that Robyn will be here in September or October! So much closer to having such a blessing in our lives. Alaina is still struggling a bit with her surgery recovery so the doctors have decided to increase her twice weekly pt by adding a third day of yoga in hopes that this will help with the flexibility. Her last day of school for the year was this past Friday so we are excited to have a little break from the overloaded schedule she has. However, the doctors and teachers have suggested that she attend an additional year of preschool so she will start again in September in hopes that by the following year she will enter Kindergarten. Please keep in your prayers that the rest of Robyn's training will go well and that Alaina will continue to progress so that she can move on past preschool and into the next years of her education. Thank you all! Please share this post on your Facebook if you can.
Well Alaina went hiking today but had a hard time with it as her leg muscles still have a lot of atrophy. She now knows about Robyn and is really looking forward to meeting her in a few months. The speech therapist and the family are all working hard to teach Alaina all the words she needs to know to communicate with Robyn and Alaina is working really hard to learn. So far, she knows how to say Robyn's name as "RoMen" which is a lot of progress from "Roen". We spoke with SIT Service Dogs and it looks like the goal for having Robyn come home is October. It is taking a little longer than anticipated because the shelter where we adopted Robyn overestimated her age by SEVERAL months which means that she is a little immature still and only time can take care of that. We are so happy to know that we will have her before the end of the year though and Alaina will be able to include her in her daily school and therapies and interactions with peers. Thank you for your love and support! Please help us get the word out by sharing this on facebook if you can. Much love!
Alaina has been doing well recovering. She got her cast off and had to wear a boot for 2 weeks. It's been rough getting her up on her feet. She used a walker for a while and we just got the boot off. She complains of pain with every step but I've been forcing her to walk because there is no other way for her to get that strength back in her leg which lacks any muscle tone. She has been in physical therapy every day since the cast removal and it helps but sometimes she regresses. It's hard to force her to keep going when I see the pain in her eyes but with every step she is one step closer to running and jumping and playing with her peers. We haven't been able to raise the funds we need for the dog but we've worked out an arrangement to continue training with delayed payment in hopes we can get the funds needed. On the other hand, training is going really well and Robyn is a kind, sweet, loving dog. We can wait to bring her home to our little girl. We can't wait to see the happiness and joy in Alaina's eyes and the love she feels when Robyn is by her side. Please keep our sweet little spirit in your prayers. Please help us get the word out about raising money for her Service Dog. Much love to you all!
Alaina is recovering slowly since the surgery. The last few days have been very painful for her and we suspect that the last several nights she hasn't slept as her days have been really rough. We appreciate any thoughts and prayers you can offer. On anther note, the dog trainers contacted us and let us know that the training is going really well. We sent in some videos of Alaina so they could view her movements and get a better idea of how to mimic them for training. After viewing the videos they have suggested that we have Robyn trained as a full on guide dog versus a service dog. This means that Robyn will be by Alaina's side constantly guiding her as with any other blind person whereas as a service dog (originally how she was being trained) Robyn was just going to help balance her. This is great that they are able to do this as it will give Alaina even more help in addition to seizure alerts. We are $175 in to next months amount due on the 22nd of February. Thank you all for your love and support. We just have $1025 more to go to make this payment! None of this would be possible without amazing people like you. Thanks so much!!
Alaina is finally home from surgery. She is in a lot of pain at the moment and will be in a wheelchair for 6 weeks and a cast for 8 weeks. She is a brave girl and strong so we have faith in her that she will make it through with amazing strength. Robyn, her service dog in training, recently visit WalMart in a training session and did very well so we are very excited to see her moving forward. We were able to raise just barely enough to cover this month of training. It seems to be getting harder and harder to make the amount we need but we are so very blessed we have gotten this far and are so appreciative of all of you as donors and supporters. We couldn't be giving Alaina a better life without you. Much love to you all!
Thank you all for your love and support! Alaina is going in for surgery today on her foot. She will be I'm the hospital overnight recovering. Please keep her in you're prayers as she braves this. Thank you again!
Today Scentsy rep LoriAnn Morrey held a fundraiser for Alaina's service dog training where all the profits from sales went to Alaina's fund. It was quite successful as she was able to raise $200!!! This was so awesome of her to do and we are so grateful to her and to Jamie for opening up her home to host the event and to all the ladies who came and participated. We are now only $550 away from next months payment which is due at the end of this month. Tonight we delivered around 100 flyers in hopes for donations to reach our goal. Again, thanks so much for your love and support!!
Alaina's surgery is coming up at the end of this month. We are hoping that nothing goes wrong before then. In other news, she is still struggling with her vision. So much so that they have decided to start patching her eyes again. Hopefully this will help her. She is still very cautious throughout her days walking and playing but having Robyn will greatly improve her balance and confidence. Thanks so much for your love and support! The next training payment is due January 22nd and we are $900 away from raising the amount needed. Please help us continue to get the word out. If you want me to send you a flyer to put up in your area please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much!
The training has started and the first month of Training has been paid through donations! Wow, what a blessing! Now we are working hard to get the word out so we can pay for the second month by the end of January. Alana is doing great and has been seizure free for almost 2 weeks. She is also recovering well from her cold and stomach bug! Hopefully we can get her back in school and therapies after the new year.
Thanks to everyone for all your love and support thus far! You don't know how much of a difference this will make in Alaina's life. We heard back recently from the trainers and they informed us that Robyn is still under evaluation. We now have enough money to pay for the first month of training and are working to raise the rest. We are super excited and blessed that we got this much support so far. We are also working to set up an actual charity for this through the irs so that people who donate can write it off. It's great news and we are looking forward to getting this done. Please continue to help us spread the word. We greatly appreciate it. Alaina has been seizure free for a little less than a week now though she is currently suffering from a pretty bad cold and fever. We hope and pray that she will heal and continue to be without seizures.
Alaina finally returned home from an overnight stay in the hospital due to a continuous, multiple hour, seizure. After administering several emergency medications she finally recovered and became responsive. Now that she's back home she is quite different from her old self but trying hard to get back to the level of knowledge she had and make up for the damage the seizure has done.
Alaina had a surgery scheduled for this Tuesday but when we got there she started vomiting so they rescheduled for January 22nd. Robyn, the service dog to be trained, is taking a trip to IL for evaluation next week. We are really looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Alaina suffered a 45 minute seizure on Tuesday. We did not recognize it as a seizure until it had already gone on for a while. She was rushed to the ER where they increased her medication. We are really looking forward to the service dog and just found out that she will be evaluated for training in the next few weeks. We hope to have the first months payment collected by then. Thank you all for your love and support.
This week Alaina will have her pre-surgery cast taken off and go a week without casting before her surgery on December 4th. It would be such a blessing to have Robyn (the lovely chosen dog) in our home now to help with her healing. The next few months will be quite the challenge as Alaina will have a full leg cast and be quite immobile.
We found the dog we will, hopefully, have trained. Thanks to our good friend Kim, this beautiful, sweet, loving dog (Robyn) is going to be sent to IL in a few weeks to be evaluated for training. If Robyn passes the evaluation she will start the program right away. We are very excited to get this going! Robyn is coming from a shelter. We felt it so important to give a homeless dog a good, rewarding home.
Alaina is now in her pre-surgery casts. Only a few more weeks till they operate on her foot! She is really looking forward to when she gets her service dog to help her. Having a 4 legged friend by her side to catch her when she falls, alert an adult when she's having a seizure and to be her eyes when she needs it is going to be the biggest relief in her life.
Alaina Bella is our sweet little 4 year old daughter. She was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome which caused the loss of her fingers, a clubfoot, vision impairment (even with glasses), speech and motor delays, and several learning disabilities. Life has been rough for this little one with the many surgeries and daily struggles; however, she is strong and brave and ambitious. She attends doctors appointments and therapies several times a week to help her have a better life. We noticed about a year ago that time with a dog brightened her face and seemed to give her a bit of hope. She seemed to have several mental growth spurts during the short time she was around the dog too. Something about dogs brings a such a smile to her face and a lift to her spirit. Since then we've been researching service dogs and now see the benefit this can bring to her life by helping her gain stability and alerting us when she has a seizure. Our journey for service dog training has begun. We hope you feel as passionately as we do about this. Alaina is do special and loving and deserves to have all the help she can get to make her life just that much easier. Please donate anything you can as it all helps raise the money for the full cost of the training. We have looked into various training programs throughout the nation and have only found a hand full that didn't have a 3 to 5 year waiting list and were willing to train a service dog for someone younger than 8 years old.