Help us travel to get service dog

$2,600 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 37 people in 38 months
Laurie Fullerton Smith  CARY, NC
We have raised the money we need to get Marisa's service dog. (I can't tell how excited we are!)We have have been given the dates of December 2-13, 2013 to attend training classes and now need to raise $2500 for for travel expenses, food and hotel for nearly 2 weeks to go get her dog. (We have to stay for almost 2 weeks to get certified to be a handler for the service dog.)Please help us reach this goal. Marisa desperately needs this! ***Any money that is donated for this cause goes to the family for travel expenses, NOT to 4 Paws for ability

Below is the story of why our daughter needs a autism service dog:

Marisa Smith is a 15 year old autistic child with a wonderful, imaginative personality and once you get to know her, she makes a lasting impression. She is very artistic and you will find her often drawing in her sketchbook, turning that wonderful imagination into pictures on a page. She especially loves drawing pictures of wolves. This talent is an icebreaker for the few social relationships that she has.
She is very passionate and knowledgeable about animals. She mimics their sounds and they respond immediately, you would almost think they were talking to each other. During a trip to one of the area wildlife centers, she became interested in Lemurs. She has helped raise money for the Duke Lemur Center. She is quite a remarkable young lady.
Marisa has endured 3 brain surgeries to correct a congenital brain deformity and has been diagnosed with Autism and has extreme sensory issues. She does not function independently.
Every day is a struggle for her. She has many challenges in school and other social settings. Everyday changes and transitions tend to be very traumatic experiences that greatly increase her already inflated anxiety levels. She cannot interpret body language and facial expression as well as the rest of us and often misunderstands people's intentions. In overwhelming situations she feels like she has to get away (she has wandered off of school grounds unexpectedly and gone missing on more than one occasion) so she must be monitored constantly. She experiences night terrors that leave her screaming and thrashing in her bed.
A autism service dog would help calm her during the anxious, stressful and overwhelming times. They would be there to wake her and take her out of those traumatic dreams that leave her fearful. It would be a companion to a child with very few people she can call friends and maybe help open up the doorway to new relationships with her peers. A service dog would be there to calm, distract and redirect Marisa when she feels like she needs to get away from those overwhelmingly stressful situations. Marisa receiving a service dog will be a true blessing to our family! It will allow her to gain more independence and provide a safety net for her, as well as peace of mind for us, her parents.
We have agreed to become volunteers for 4 Paws for Ability, to help raise $13,000 to support their mission of being able to place service dogs to families who need them. 4 Paws for Ability, Inc. is a non-profit organization that places service dogs with children who have disabilities. They believe that service dogs should be made available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence that are the result of service dog placement. With your help, we can reach our goal, and 4 Paws can begin the 11-month process of training a dog for Marisa. Thank you so much!
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Update 23
Posted by Laurie Smith
36 months ago
WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL!!!! Thank you so very much to everyone. We are blessed!
Your support means the world to us!
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Update 22
Posted by Laurie Smith
36 months ago
WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

Marisa and I will be leaving for Ohio for 2 weeks on Dec 1 to go get her service dog. Please help us get there! Thanks so much for your support.
http://www.carynews.com/2013/10/25/3308946/cary-teen-with-autism-raises-money.htmlort!

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Update 21
Posted by Laurie Smith
37 months ago
Marisa and I will be leaving for Ohio for 2 weeks on Dec 1 to go get her service dog. Please help us get there! Thanks so much for your support!
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Update 20
Posted by Laurie Smith
37 months ago
I just my child to be safe and happy!

getting nervous, I don't want to break Marisa's heart and tell we can't afford to go get her service dog. Please help us out! Thank you so much!

http://www.carynews.com/2013/10/25/3308946/cary-teen-with-autism-raises-money.html

http://www.gofundme.com/--service-dog
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 233 total shares

$2,600 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 37 people in 38 months
Created October 07, 2013
Laurie Fullerton Smith  
CT
$10
chris todd
37 months ago

What a fun December as I know you will be getting your new friend!!!

CR
$10
Chelsea and Joel Roney
37 months ago
$10
Anonymous
37 months ago
TH
$10
Tricia Hudson
37 months ago

I know this dog will be a great blessing to you and your family!

BS
$15
Barry Strulson
37 months ago

I read your story in the Cary News while visiting my daughter. I am happy to offer a little help. I hope that your goal is reached soon. YOu are in my prayers.

KS
$20
Kara Smith
37 months ago

Marisa- You seem like such an amazing, talented girl. I hope that we are able to get to know each other more in the future. Enjoy your dog, I'm so happy for you. Love you

$20
Anonymous
37 months ago
$20
Anonymous
37 months ago
HF
$20
Haley Fullerton
37 months ago

Love you Risa!

CB
$25
Chris Biondi
37 months ago
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