Diabetes Alert Dog for Grady

40520102_1562766650810529_r.jpegI met Grady this year at his elementary school where I am the school nurse.  Grady is such a great young man.  He is diligent in choosing nutritional foods to eat to sustain a steady blood sugar.  He is the first kid I've ever seen choose an apple over a cupcake because at 15 carbs vs 45 carbs "that's garbage, I'm not going to eat that!"

He loves calculating his insulin dose after adding his carbohydrates and subtracting points for exercise.  He is doing such a great job living with his diabetes and keeping a close watch on how he eats, that I'm sure he is going to live a long, healthy life.  His parents have done an amazing job raising him to make healthy choices!

The thing with diabetes is that you can do EVERYTHING right and still it creeps in like a thief and steals  your confidence, control, and instills fear.  This happened on the last day of our school year.  Surrounded by faculty, the entire student body, and parents and extended family during a talent show, diabetes showed us we are NOT in complete control and we'll never know when a life threatening event will happen.

This is Grady's story, told by his mother Lauren, also an RN.  After this happened, I knew we, as a village, had to help Grady and his family live a long, safe life.   Please take a minute to read this heartfelt letter. The Lucas family has large medical bills that I would love to make a dent in after money is raised for a Diabetic Alert Dog.    Diabetes is not cheap, and not completely covered by insurance.  If you can, please donate.  No amount is too small.  If you can't donate,  please share!  

Thank you,
Beth Lierl, RN                                  
                                                                                                                                               Grady’s Journey 

Dear Friends and Community,

We are the Lucas family. We have two sons Grady and Grant Lucas. We are your normal, happy, God-fearing, carefree Alexandria, KY family. However, around 5 years ago, our daily lives as we had lived changed. Instead of the usual daily grind, our world now consists of one thing… Type 1 diabetes.  Little did we realize the impact this one disease would have not only our son, but it would step into every aspect of our life.

Grady Lucas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4 ½ on September 15, 2014.  To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement. Suddenly his life consisted of numerous finger sticks to check blood sugar, 10 insulin shots a day, reading and counting every food label and attempting to calculate the carbohydrates in every single piece of food he ate, just to keep him alive.  It was a nightmare. No one slept.  However, in attempts to hold it all together, we (on the outside) appeared strong and emotionless. Although that was not the case, we needed our 4 yr old to believe it was all going to be okay.
Imagine trying to find a sitter for your child while you work.  It’s tough to find someone to trust with the care of your child.  Add diabetes to the mix and it’s close to impossible.  Simple things like overnights, birthday parties, campouts with friends, school field trips, and summer camp to name a few are not a possibility in our lives. Either Geoff or myself have to be present to make sure our son is safe.   When we go to sleep at night, we pray Grady doesn't have a critical low drop.  It's so very hard to sleep with this nightly fear.

No matter the diligent, tedious, 24-hour care we gave to our son, 8 months after his diagnosis he suffered an extreme low blood sugar while playing in the backyard.  We were able to treat this and he was safe, but we knew we needed more help.  We reached out to Children’s Hospital to apply for a continuous glucose monitor. This monitor would read his blood sugar every 5 minutes and display his blood sugar on a small iPod device.  Although this comes with a large price tag, it gave us as parents  peace of mind. We were once again able to sleep a little at night. We truly have RELIED on this piece of technology and we trust our son’s life with it…until we didn’t.

On his last day of school this year May 23, 2019, Grady suffered another extreme low blood sugar while wearing this device. He was surrounded by over 300 students and 100 adults in the gymnasium watching the talent show.  No one knew he was unconscious, unable to walk, talk or communicate his critical low blood sugar. His blood sugar monitor was literally reading an above normal blood sugar of 175. It was being monitored by both Geoff and myself, his nurse and his teacher. His blood sugar was really in the 20’s…. life threatening low. If it weren’t for him being surrounded by his friends and teachers at Grant’s Lick elementary school, his life may not have been saved. We cried and thanked God for keeping him safe… this time.  But what if the outcome had been different? What if this had occurred at night? WE shudder to think, although it is our biggest fear.  The low alert would have been far too late. We knew we need something more to keep his fragile life in check. Technology is not error-proof.  We learned this the hard way.  Sleep is close to impossible now. 

This is where we need your help. Grady Lucas needs a diabetic alert dog.  These service dogs are trained by the Diabetes Alert Dogs of America organization.  The diabetes dog would alert us if his sugar is dropping low or if it is high.   INCREDIBLE.  However, these dogs come at a large expense.  The training involved is amazing!  In order for a patient to receive a dog, it is an upfront cost of $10,000-$20,000 dollars. This is on top of the thousands of dollars we must spend to buy insulin, needles, glucose sensors, transmitters, insulin pump supplies, doctors visits and the list is endless. We need your help to raise funds for this life-saving companion. Please consider a donation to help us reach our goal. No amount is too small.  Our son’s everyday life, as well as our family, would be greater with the help of a diabetes alert dog. We are forever grateful and blessed.  

Lauren, Geoff, Grady and Grant Lucas


If you prefer to make a donation by check or cash, they are accepted at any 5/3 Bank location.  Make checks out to Lauren Lucas in benefit of Grady's Journey.  Thank you!


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  • Anonymous 
    • 5 $ 
    • 10 mos
  • Karen Kevin Mack 
    • 100 $ 
    • 10 mos
  • Beth Oelrich 
    • 100 $ 
    • 10 mos
  • Chris Holian 
    • 50 $ 
    • 11 mos
  • Jenny & Greg Holian 
    • 50 $ 
    • 11 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Grady (4)

Beth Aylor Lierl 
Raised 10,565 $ from 209 donations
Brooksville, KY
Lauren Lucas 
Lynlee Hertzenberg 
Team member
Raised 325 $ from 5 donations

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