Seizure Alert dog for Sammy


Hi Everybody,

My name is Michel, and I'm starting this fundraiser for one of my younger brothers, Sammy.  Sammy is 13, and has a big smile, a bigger heart, and a big love for sports.  That all changed the summer of 2016, when he started having seizures.  Always a healthy child, these seizures that just started out of the blue, were unexplainable, and scary.  After undergoing every test imaginable, and keeping a smile the whole time, he was diagnosed with epilepsy.  He started taking medicine to manage the seizures, and we thought he was doing well, until one evening he had one that was really bad and had to be hospitalized.  After that more medicine was added to try to manage them.  And while there has been some success, his body continues with the seizures, and he never knows when or where they will happen.

A year and a half ago before his diagnosis, you would have found him flying off the end of the diving board, or flipping around on the trampoline, a kid always ready to go outside and play, a teenager heading into independence, just like all kids his age.  If you talk to Sammy today, you would still see his big smile, and his loving nature, but you would also see an inhibition in him, that wasn't there before.  A kid who is now not so sure if he wants to go play, because he might have a seizure and fall. I've seen him laugh at the black eye he got when he had a seizure, and fell into the piano, but I know he's not laughing on the inside.

To that end an amazing door has been opened for him, and our family, in the form of a dog, specifically a Seizure Alert Dog, named Holly. She is an    
English Cream Golden Retriever who is a year old. Sammy's neurologist is thrilled for him, as she has had several patients who have benefitted greatly from ownership of one of these dogs.   The problems with these dogs is that they are very expensive, due to the extensive training they receive.  The first hurdle has been crossed in that Holly's trainer Tess, has given the two of them her go ahead, because Holly likes Sammy.  The bonding process has begun, so now we have to do something that quite frankly is hard to do, and that is asking for help to pay for Holly.  Tess will continue to work with Sammy, and Holly training them both until they are both ready, but she has to be paid for before he can bring her home.  

If Sammy had Holly as a constant companion many of the comforts, pleasures, and even ordinary daily activities of life that Sammy lost with his diagnosis would be returned to him.   Things that are difficult, or that have become impossible could be restored not just to him but to our entire family as well.  He would gain the distinct advantage of having a second ally in his fight against these seizures, one who could physically sense any impending seizures, and warn him before they occur, and would also be able to assist him during and after the seizure.  He would be able to move forward with the peace of mind and protection that only a dog like Holly can provide.  

So as his brother I am asking my friends, and family to please help my family with this.  Anything helps, even the smallest amount, and it all adds up.  Even if you are unable to donate, please share this on your Facebook page/email.  I am so grateful to be Sammy's brother and I know he was put in my life for a reason.  I love him a lot and I want to help do what ever I can to make his life better.  Thank you so much and if you have any questions at all about Sammy, Holly, or the service dog process, please don't hesitate to ask.  

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Organizer and beneficiary

Salem Spoto 
Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Samuel Spoto 
Beneficiary
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