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Leah's Diabetic Service Dog

$5,025 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 77 people in 9 months
This is Leah, a loving and fun 7 year old with type one diabetes. Leah is in need of a diabetic alert service dog to help her maintain her blood glucose levels and have more independence. A diabetic alert service dog smells when a child’s blood sugar is going low or high and will alert ahead of time so you can correct it before it gets to a dangerous level. A service dog would allow Leah to be more independent with her care and better monitored so mom and dad can take a little step back. The training alone for the service dog is $10,000 and takes 10 months. It is already quite expensive to maintain all the medical supplies we need on a daily basis and any help we could have obtaining a service dog would be much appreciated. Please, help keep Leah well and become more independent.
The day before Leah’s 6th birthday she hadn’t been feeling well and we ended up in the ER when she couldn’t answer us and wasn’t breathing well. Turns out she was in diabetic ketoacidosis and her body was shutting down. Leah has type one diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the body tries to kill the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. When this happens, the body can no longer absorb or control it’s glucose levels. She had swelling in her brain, her blood glucose level was 425 (more than 4 times the normal range), she had so much acid production in her body she was being poisoned, and she was severely dehydrated. She was rushed to the ICU where she recovered well after a few days.
Life after we came home came to bit of a screeching halt however. Leah needed to be constantly monitored as her blood sugar levels were all over the place and we were expecting a baby in 3 months. We checked her blood sugars at least six times during the day and three times throughout the night to make sure her blood glucose levels weren't dipping low or climbing high while we adjusted to her new medication. We weighed and measured food, counted carbs, calculated the right insulin dose, and gave hundreds of injections and finger pokes. She couldn’t continue at school so we decided to homeschool for a year while we all learned to care for her.
We are happy to say that Leah is back at school this year and we have learned to ride the rollercoaster of high and low blood sugars. It is still quite dangerous when Leah’s blood glucose levels are high or low and, unfortunately, Leah cannot identify when it is happening. We have a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that helps to alert us when she is trending low or high but it is not 100% accurate and we don’t always catch it until she is dangerously low. We are looking at getting a Diabetic Alert Service dog for Leah as an extra measure of self care for her. She is still learning to care for her disease and having a furry companion that can help teach her would be a great help. Please, help keep Leah well and become more independent.
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Thank you to all the family, friends, and total strangers that have helped us! We are 25% there.
Leah’s backpack goes everywhere with her and contains everything she needs to survive the day with diabetes. It is sort of like carrying her pancreas on the outside of her body and we certainly don’t want to be without it. Inside is her blood glucose meter, pump meter, insulin, glucagon, her iPhone that acts as a receiver to her continuous glucose monitor, sugar of many varieties from fruit leather and juice to nutbars and raisins, and sometimes a snuggle buddy because, really, who doesn’t need a snuggle buddy?
Leah after school one day:”Mom, the kids at school don’t believe that juice can save my life.”
Me:”well, I’m glad you know!”
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This photo represents a normal day with type 1 for Leah. Highs, lows, quick drops, quick thinking on mom and dad’s part. This is why we need a service dog. Highs and lows are a normal part of a diabetics life but when you don’t catch them quickly it can be quite dangerous. The role of the dog is to actually smell when Leah’s blood glucose levels are dropping low.
https://www.gofundme.com/69evp-leahs-diabetic-service-dog
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A big shout out to all our family and friends for donating! We are 1/10 of the way there. I spoke with Terry last night of Rivers Edge Dog Training and once we raise enough for a down payment he can start searching for a dog to train for Leah. Please, keep sharing for Leah! Every little bit helps.
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$5,025 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 77 people in 9 months
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$25
Anonymous
16 days ago
$68
Wendy Hannigan
1 month ago
$10
Jamie Davi
1 month ago
KR
$100
Kristi Rose
4 months ago
$10
Daniel Eisen
4 months ago
JW
$25
June Wanish
4 months ago
$50
Anonymous
4 months ago
DK
$30
Diane Kofoed
4 months ago
RE
$100
Rachel Englund
4 months ago
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