Gabriella is our 11 year old daughter who suddenly lost 95% of her vision 4th of July weekend. Gabby has a rare genetic eye disease that has caused blindness in 7 generations of our family. This disease is still a mystery to doctors around the country, who have been studying it since the 1960's when Gabby's grandmother began losing her vision.
Gabby has a massive fluid build up under her retina which is causing it to shred into layers. This build up of fluid has caused a macular tear which has resulted in the loss of her vision, intracranial pressure, significant episodes of vertigo, migraines, and anxiety. She also has genetic anomalies in both optic nerves, with fluid building up in both eyes, but the disease in her right eye has been progressing more rapidly. Gabby is preparing for major eye surgery this Wednesday, 11/22/17, which will require her to remain face down with little to no movement for 7 days, then she will have 6 weeks of recovery. We will not know if the surgery was successful until the end of the 6 weeks.
Before her vision loss, Gabby was an accomplished soccer player, who just earned a scholarship to play on a competitive soccer team. In a matter of minutes, her dream of being an Olympic soccer player was sadly taken from her. She lost the ability to read, play sports, draw, cook, and play games, which she loves to do, with her 3 special needs siblings. Instead she is now learning how to walk with a cane, read Braille, and write using adaptive equipment. Gabby has handled this life altering medical issue with grace, strength, faith, and hope. She even speaks hope and offers support to other children, and often prays with them during their toughest moments.
Now it's our turn to help our amazing little girl! We need help raising funds to train Hannah, Gabby's St. Bernard, as a service dog; so Gabby can be as independent as possible. The trainer has been extremely generous and offered his services of boarding and training before we have the full deposit. He will provide all equipment that Gabby and Hannah will need as well as lifetime support.
Please help us help our little girl. There is absolutely no way that we can do this without the support from family, friends and our community. Gabby not only needs this dog for physical and emotional support; but she deserves to lead as normal a life as possible, and having a service dog will provide her the means to get there. We are forever grateful for any amount that you can spare. Thank you so much for helping this dream become a reality.
Lisa, Joe, Chris, Chy, Gabby, and Joey.