In 2011, Kelly suffered 2 strokes, was hospitalized twice for Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which caused kidney problems and now his kidneys operate at 40%. Also in 2011, he had a colon resection and his gall bladder removed. He also began losing his vision due to Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR). 2011 was quite a stellar year for us medically. Because of his strokes and losing his vision, my husband could no longer drive to see his clients and had to quit working. I can't even begin to tell you what a sad day that was for him. Kelly loves people and loves to work. I'm so very thankful that his clients still keep in contact with him to this day. It is a wonderful testament of how much they loved working with him.
With losing an income and still paying off medical bills, I can't complain. He's still alive and here with me, the kids and grandkids.
Unfortunately, the strokes have added complications to managing his diabetes. He no longer feels the effects of a change to his blood sugar (hypoglycemic unawareness) and therefore at a high risk for life threatening seizures and complications, especially while he sleeps. I work about 42 miles from home and call Kelly a couple times a day to check on him to make sure he is doing okay. Within the last year, one day, I called to check on him and he did not answer. I drove home (lightning speed) and found him unconscious on the floor due to low blood sugar and had to call the paramedics. I almost lost him that day. And this is why we are in need of a Diabetic Alert Dog. Kelly needs someone with him 24/7 to help him manage his high and low blood sugars, and to give me peace of mind when I'm not able to be with him.
I did a lot of research on Diabetic Alert Dogs (DADs). There are a lot of great places that provide and train DADs. I have learned in researching these dogs that you do get what you pay for. I found a local breeder, nationally known for their service dogs. Their breeding program is known throughout the United States (and beyond) for well-balanced companion dogs and Service Dogs with exceptional temperaments. Their puppies are hand-raised by the family, and are trained with the care that only such an environment can provide. Their service dogs receive a minimum 1,020 hours of training in basic obedience, scent detection work and public access work before it is paired with a new handler. They proof their dogs on volunteers who have Diabetes, and who document the DAD's live alerts in conjunction with their own blood sugar logs. From the time we sign a contract for a service dog, it can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months before we get the dog. This is because these dogs are true service dogs and are thoroughly trained. They also make sure that the dog and owner are a match and will work well together. The cost also includes visits to the vet, vaccinations and learning how to work/handle (learning the commands) the dog. Our situation is also a little unique in that this dog will also help Kelly "see" and support his balance while walking, in addition to alerting him to his low and high sugars.
Kelly and I did visit this breeder and what they advertise is true to form. All of the dogs are simply AMAZING! They and the training program they go through are worth their weight in gold. Not only do they thoroughly train them, but you must do follow up training once you receive the dog as well; at least twice a year. This keeps the dog focused on the task at hand. A refersher course per se. Kelly was sold on what he saw and wanted to leave with a dog right that minute. He was so excited at the thought of having help with his sugar monitoring for his peace of mind as well.
The cost for this special service dog is very expensive and we need help to obtain this dog. Any amount that you can donate would be very much appreciated. Please share the link to this page with others. If we exceed our dollar goal, we want to donate the additional dollars to the local breeder so that they can pair another person in need like Kelly, with a special service dog. There are so many people like us that need the stability and relief to those that have Type 1 diabetes and don't have the means to obtain a DAD. With DAD's desire to please, strong work ethic and intense loyalty, these dogs will bring them the companionship of a therapy dog with stabilizing skill of a service dog.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. It is greatly appreciated.
DonationsSee top donations
- Rebecca Hall
- Jason Logan
- LDS Church Plano Fifth Ward
- Pat Imlay
- Joe Sisson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more