We are the Blake Family. We are trying to raise money to train our dog to be a service animal for our three special needs children. (They have autism and intractable Epilepsy, along with numerous other health issues.) We have been trying for quite a while to get a pre-trained service animal for our children, but they are prohibitably expensive (like $20,000!) and the agencies have very long waiting lists.
For Christmas, our extended family gave us a dog to train. "Cookie" is a special-needs dog herself. She was the runt and is blind in one eye. Yet she is incredibly sweet, loves our children, and is hypoallergenic -which we need because of our children's asthma. An expert assured us she would make an excellent service animal.
To save money, we have been training her ourselves for the last several months, but we've reached the point where she needs more advanced training in order to become a full-fledged service dog. We found a trainer who will give us a huge discount: $3,000 instead of $20,000! Unfortunately, because of our children's mounting medical bills, we can't afford even the reduced price. (Even after insurance, we owe over $250,000 in medical debt.) As hard as it is to ask for help, there is NOTHING we wouldn't do for our children.
Thank you for helping us. We pray special blessings on you and yours!
- Karen Van Etten
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