Help Libby get a Diabetic Alert Dog

This is Libby, a fun loving, imaginative 8 year old. Three years ago, in June 2010, Libby was getting sick and we didn't know why. She had lost weight, was always hungry and my 5 year old little girl had lost so much weight that we had to start buying her 4T clothes again.

One day she said she just didn't feel right and looked as if she were on the verge of passing out. My mother, a type 2 diabetic, decided to check Libby's blood sugar on her meter. We checked three times and the meter would not read anything but the word "high" - we took her to the ER and found out her blood sugar was well into the 700s and climbing.

We've had many ups and downs since then, and a few months ago, her Endocrinologist asked us to come to a meeting where a DAD would be present, they thought Libby would benefit greatly from one.

When we came into the meeting, we were greeted by a wonderful young black Labrador. She was wearing a service vest and was very well behaved. Our doctor explained to us that this was a DAD, a Diabetic Alert Dog, who when paired with a Type 1 diabetic, could alert to highs and lows for that person alone, well before any blood glucose meter could detect it. The dog we met in fact, belonged to our Dr., who is also a type 1, and had alerted him in many life-threatening conditions before a diabetic seizure occurred.

I checked into what went in to acquiring a DAD for Libby, and they do not come cheap. The training is very intense and centered to the patient that the dog will come to serve. The average waiting time for a DAD is 18 months, after which you must pay the full price of $25,000.00 plus taxes in order to receive your dog.

I am a single mother, working full time, struggling to pay off Libby's medical bills, which have surpassed $60,000.00 just in the last year alone.

Libby has been in and out of the hospital many times due to her diabetes. Her highs are off the meters and her lows happen so quickly it's scary. I'm trying to prepare myself for her to seize due to a low, or fall into a coma from a fast rising high. The more we struggle with her illness it seems less a question of if, and rather more...when.

Even under her doctors' care, she often baffles us as to why her diabetes is so touchy and hard to control. She has been in the 500s and dropped within half an hour to 20! Her highs and lows come very quickly and often she doesn't feel them coming until it's too late.

We thought the days of 3 am wakings were done when she grew out of her infancy, but we wake up more now in the night than we did when she was only months old. We are waking to ensure that her life is not in danger of ending while she sleeps due to an unknown high or low.

Our Doctor has informed us that a DAD can detect highs and lows through scent and can warn us of a coming jump or drop even when our meter says otherwise. Thirty minutes to an hour beforehand we can be prepared for what is coming.

Please help us to raise the money for our little Libby, a few minutes can mean the difference between kidney failure, blindness or even life or death. Every few minutes count when dealing with this frightening illness that, as yet has no cure.

She has seen more in her 8 years than many see in a lifetime regarding, pain, fear, illness and death. On average, children with Type 1 Diabetes have a life expectancy 15 years shorter than their friends.

We are not asking for large donations. We have a long way to go, but every cent will help.
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Organizer

Jennifer Stewart 
Organizer
Bryan, TX
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