Diabetic Alert Dog for Eli

To Perspective Donors:

Hi my name is Heather Thornburg. I am writing you on behalf of needing help for my son. His name is Eli and he is a fun loving 2yr old little boy. On June 24th, 2017 our world got flipped upside down when he got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).  He is the first in our family to be diagnosed with T1D.  Our lives now are very involved with watching and counting all carbs he eats, 24/7 continuous blood glucose monitoring. We have gotten him a Dexcom which is a continuous glucose monitor that is attached to his skin and sends reading to our phones with his sugar readings in his interstitial fluid which can be in a 20% range to what his sugar is in his blood stream.  It is these times which are the scariest for us, since he shows no changes in his demeanor when he goes low. His blood sugar is supposed to be over 80 during the day and 100 at night.  Since diagnosis we have had times where he was in the 50’s and 60’s and his Dexcom still read above 90. With him being so little he drops so quickly.

This is the day after being admitted into the ICU when they finally got his blood sugar into a normal range from 562.

First time he ate on his own after being admitted.  This little step made my heart soar and still brings me to tears.

The reason I am writing you this is to try to get help getting him a DAD (Diabetic Alert Dog).  These dogs are services dogs that are specially trained in smelling the chemical change my son’s body make to alert us to hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia  (high blood sugar).  These dogs come with a high price tag but being a mother I cannot put a price tag on how precious my sweet boy’s life is to us. You walk into a room and my little boys double dimple smile can light up anyone’s day and his whole body laugh will make you laugh. His sweet heart with only being two and wanting to help anyone he is around.

Little man once we got home finally have his sweet smile back!!

There are a lot of shady companies and people who say they train DAD’s but when the T1D person gets them they are not fully trained which is disheartening for someone to take so much money from someone that is in desperate need for extra assistance in helping with this lifelong deadly disease. With lots of research I have found Becky Causey who is a trainer and has had great success with DAD’s since she knows herself the value of them since she has a T1D child.  I would like to use her services and are HOPING to raise the money to purchase a  DAD from her through this page and fundraising we are putting together. Her information is below if you would like to research who you are helping me out with.

Becky Causey
Causey Labradors and Training
IACP Professional Member #P6473
President, Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance
AKC CGC Evaluator

The cost for purchasing a fully trained service dog, which includes the 18 months of training, the cost of a health screened AKC registered puppy, all vaccinations, food, vet care, toys, etc. is $19,000.  There are no additional training costs or care costs involved during the training process. To start the process of reserving a DAD, I had to do an interview by phone with her to discuss in more detail how DADs work, our lifestyle and how well it is suited for a DAD Also we talked about all of the other details about life with a DAD that anyone should know before purchasing a DAD (additional training you may need, dog health and care, how much time a DAD requires from you, how to get the best fit for a dog, etc). 

We are hoping to move forward with getting our DAD from her which the next step is raising the money so we can sign the written contract and start the process to get Eli  his DAD. We will not take this step though until we are able to pay in full.

Due to how long it takes for the DAD to be trained for  we are asking to raise this money ASAP.  

We are asking for help from family, friends and our community to make this happen for our little guy. The smallest amount will help us out. Thank you in advance.

Heather Thornburg
Winston Salem NC

Due to what GoFundMe fee's are is why our goal is set at 21,000 and not just the 19,000:

GoFundMe's fee is 5% from each donation you receive. The payment processor fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per donation.


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Heather Thornburg 
Winston-Salem, NC
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