Bricyn's D.A.D (Diabetic Alert Dog)

On September 27, after a week's worth of symptoms thought to be the flu, Bricyn was taken to Heritage Valley Beaver. He was found to have a blood sugar of 793 and was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis at age 12 caused by complications of Type 1 Diabetes.43897968_1575672998910262_r.jpeg He was flown by STAT Medevac to UPMC Children's ICU. After several days of testing, numerous IVs, education classes, and medication changes he was discharged home to manage his new “normal." 

Things haven't been easy or smooth at all. The last two months have been plagued with erratic blood sugars that even the best care, diets, and medications have not kept in complete balance. He's missed many days of school due to feeling ill from highs and lows, sleepless nights due to abnormal blood sugars and the fear that comes along with them, and an overwhelming sense of frustration. Bricyn's mom Mehgan, his stepdad Charlie, his brother's Carson and Jayce, and numerous grandparents, family, and friends have been trying their best to get Bricyn into a successful routine and boost his spirits.

Unfortunately it's times like these where he really misses his dad Lou, who passed away in devastating car accident ten years ago. Bricyn has struggled to cope with his death, and now his own health is at risk every day. The one ray of hope he's holding onto right now is a diabetic alert dog. (D.A.D. for short, ironic right?) Diabetic Alert Dogs are highly trained service dogs, (actual service dogs that are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act,) that act as companions for diabetic children and adults. They are trained specifically to their handlers scent to identify the highs and lows in their blood sugar, alert their handler, and seek help if needed. They can provide emotional support while working. Bricyn has talked about this opportunity since the day he's heard about it and even more once he's had a terrible day of high and low blood sugar. These dogs are screened from birth before entering a training program, matched to a handler based on the specific needs of the person, and then entered into an intensive training program. This dog would provide lifelong medical assistance and support to Bricyn, ease some of the fears, and hopefully improve his emotional well-being. This dog, the training, the travel and lodging to and from the training school, and the in home support are very costly. They are not covered by insurance and the burden is on the family to absorb the costs. He is eligible to apply for grants once he can show that he has made significant effort to obtain the funds. The total cost of a service dog is $20,000, plus travel and lodging during the training periods (approximately 2-3 10 day stays).

Bricyn has applied to New Hope Assistance Dogs in Warren, PA. He also has two applications to submit to alternative programs in the unlikely event that he is not accepted to his first choice program. I know it's the Christmas season, but if you have the ability to donate, any little bit helps. Please help make Bricyn's biggest Christmas wish come true. Thank you so much and Happy Holidays! ❤️
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Chelsea Plakosh 
Center Township, PA
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