Ariel’s Service Dog Fund

In 2016, I was diagnosed with chronic Migraines.  In addition to debilitating pain, these migraines cause me to have poor vision, nausea, balance issues, and more. 

After dealing with this for almost a year, I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes widespread body pain, weakness, and fatigue.  Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood, chronic neurological condition. While I sometimes have good spells, I will have it the rest of my life.  My fibromyalgia limits my energy and independence. I become fatigued quickly and sometimes struggle to do basic tasks. 

At present, I have tried many different treatments and medications to help lessen the effects of both of my conditions. In the US, there are only 3 drugs approved for use in fibromyaliga treatment. I have tried all of them. I’ve also tried supplements, chiropractors, a cane, even Botox in an attempt to lessen my pain. 

Unfortunately, nothing yet has worked well. I get temporary relief from some medications, but they often come with unwanted side effects. Other medications cause full on reactions. Many treatments work only minimally, if at all. 

Last fall, I mentioned how much of an impact my conditions were having on my daily life. Some days I am completely unable to leave my bed. She suggested that because I was so young, and my condition is chronic, I should consider a service dog. 

I pondered this for for a while, and applied to some organizations. I got rejected from one who said their breed wasn’t a good fit. I had been told at the beginning that this process could take years. 

Much to my surprise, I have recently been matched with a partner, a 100lb Great Pyrenees named “Trouble” or Trudy for short. Contrary to her name, Trouble is anything but. At 11 months, she has proven herself as a migraine alert dog, a rare skill that can not be trained. This means she can alert me to my migranes before they happen, giving me the best chance to take my rescue medication and avoid a day in bed. She is also learning some mobility skills that will help my poor balance on my bad days, and help me avoid a dangerous fall. 

Once she she comes home, she will also be trained with other tasks specific to me, to help mitigate many of my fibro symptoms. All in all, she will provide me with the assistance I need to live my life to the fullest. 

The trainer I’m working with has told me that this will cost around $3000, once travel to go get Trudy and service dog equipment are factored in.  I currently have some savings, as I had been preparing for this eventuality. Fortunately (Unfortunately?) I was matched much sooner than I expected to be, and I don’t have the full amount saved. 

If if you’d like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated.  Every penny brings me one step closer to a much better quality of life. 

Feel free to email me me with any questions, I’m more than happy to answer! 

Thank you!


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Ariel Waldman 
Boston, MA
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