AnnaBellemore-Little Angels Service Dog Fundraiser

Hello everyone, my name is Anna Bellemore and I am a 15 year-old high school student. I was diagnosed with a genetic neuromuscular disease called Charcot-Marie Tooth disease (CMT) at the age of two. CMT affects my day to day life, which is why I am in the process of getting a service dog. I am working with the non-profit organization Little Angels Service Dogs. Recently, after 9 months of an intense application and interview process, I have been accepted into the program. The final step, which is where all of you come in, is fundraising! My family and I plan on running some other fundraisers over the summer as well as this GoFundMe page. All money raised goes directly to Little Angels and once I raise $38,000 I will be moved from the fundraising waitlist to the actual dog waitlist. After fundraising is completed, it still takes an average of two years to be paired with the perfect dog!


So, now you may be wondering what CMT is and why a service dog would help me. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is a type of inherited neurological disorder that affects the peripheral nerves. CMT affects my muscles and nerves in my hands, arms, legs and feet. The disease works from the bottom up, so my feet and legs are affected the most. I wear leg braces called AFO's to help me walk faster and longer distances with less pain and fatigue. CMT is a degenerative disease which is scary to me; not only does CMT not have a cure, but it will only get worse as I grow older.


Some everyday tasks I have a hard time with are: keeping up walking with friends, using the stairs, walking in a straight line, not tripping or stumbling, picking up items from the floor, buttoning shirt or pants, writing, opening water bottles and jars. A service dog can't help me with everything, as a dog can't button my shirt, but the tasks it can help me with will certainly improve my quality of life. The service dog can go out in public with me and attend school. The dog will have a harness with a handle on its back to help me with bracing and balance. With the help of an assistance dog, I will be able to walk in a straighter line and faster. When I fall to the ground, I have a hard time getting up, so the dog will stand next to me so I can hold onto the handle and get up. With my hand weakness, I tend to drop things, ALOT. Bending down is painful for me and exerts a lot of energy, so the dog will be able to pick up items I drop and give them back to me. I also tend to misstep and trip over my own feet, so the dog's handle will provide balance so I don't trip as much.


Having a service dog will also help me emotionally. It is hard having a disability and feeling not "normal". When I am out with friends or family doing something such as shopping and I need to sit and take a break, the dog will be there with me. It can be sad and lonely at times. It would be helpful because I don't feel like I'm holding others back as they can continue shopping and I won't be alone because I will have the dog. The dog will also be able to perform deep pressure therapy (DPT) for anxiety. For example, if I need a break and I am sitting somewhere and a lot of people are staring at me, the dog can perform DPT to relieve my anxiety about people staring.


Thank you for reading my story. If you would like more information on CMT or Little Angels Service Dogs, please follow these links. Any amount you are able to donate will be very appreciated!


https://littleangelsservicedogs.org/

https://www.cmtausa.org/understanding-cmt/types-of-cmt/


Thanks!

Anna Bellemore


  • Jim Lamy 
    • $100 
    • 16 d
  • James Cruz 
    • $100 
    • 23 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 23 d
  • Darren MacCaughey 
    • $25 
    • 27 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 27 d
See all

Organizer

Heather Ducharme Bellemore 
Organizer
Westford, MA
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