My name is Judy and I am setting up this Gofundme page with love and hope of raising money for a Public Access Assistance Dog for my 17 year old daughter, Josie.
Josie and I are extremely close, and our tight bond has built through many years of me being her safe person.
This is the first time my husband, Adam, and I, have shared publicly about Josie’s struggles growing up.
These horrible fears and anxieties started at a very very early age. Josie was a very young child, and because of particular incidents, in circumstances, out of our control, her illness has grown and escalated.
When this happens, it leaves a child with a distorted view of the world around them. Due to this, Josie has often said she hasn’t understood people, or she maybe has been outspoken to cover the true fear inside her.
Until this year, Josie was able to hide her extreme fears and anxiety.
Unfortunately though, due to a number of recent incidents, she no longer feels safe in the world, not even at school. She has had to withdraw from her high school studies.
She has always been a very study focussed girl and enjoyed sharing her knowledge with her friends in school.
Unfortunately, so many people who have known Josie, have not realised the extreme sense of fear and loneliness she has been hiding for years. She even tried to hide her fear from her friends at school.
She learnt to cover her anxiety with an amazing bubbly personality. She tries to, as she says “put up a happy front” for her friends and people she comes in contact with.
In her reports from school, her teachers always wrote what a beautiful girl she is, and that she was a pleasure to have in their class.
Her friends at school and sports teams, helped her feel confident and more comfortable in classes. Especially friendships that had grown over years.
However, situations change and due to a number of reasons, Josie has not been coping mentally over the past few years. Reasons which lead to Josie leaving high school and wanting to leave her life.
In February this year, 2021, Josie was taken by ambulance to, and admitted to hospital twice.
The professionals and we, her parents, feared she was going to take her own life, twice.
Immediately people gave strategies which were put into place and she was unsuccessful in her thoughts and plans.
Suicide is never easy to talk about or contemplate. Many times it’s too late when it’s talked about. It’s extremely sad and confusing when people succeed and a loved one is gone.
We are incredibly Blessed that Josie is still with us! We are able to talk about her not successful and her still being alive with us today! Praise God for these miracles!
We are so thankful Josie is still with us today. Of course we are so extreme happy and thankful. This happiness is also brought back to the reality that we have been on 24/7 watch and caring for her because, for Josie however, “it has been like hell”.
For us as parents, being forced with this realisation, it has been crippling.
Josie is working hard at wanting to be sharing life and the idea of what it holds for her, however, the world is still an incredibly scary place.
Josie has had many struggles mentally and physically since she was a child. She fought through these and survived. And it’s our time to help her get ready to keep fighting as she becomes an adult.
What most people think of as “normal everyday tasks”, Josie hides the fact that she finds herself frozen with fear at the thought of them.
We are in the process of applying for a full public access assistance dog to accompany Josie 24/7, wherever she goes.
With an assistance dog, Josie will be able to live a more normal life!
Josie will be able to
- go out to the letter box to check for mail
- Walk down the street or around the block
- Walk to the local shops
- Take public transport to anywhere
- drive in a car on her own
- Feel comfortable studying again and go to University without a support person with her -
- Which will assist her in working in whatever profession she wants to go into
- Be able to go to the beach, shopping and movies with friends
- Be able to visit friend’s houses
- Be able to be confidently leave the house
- most importantly, Josie will feel safe
Josie has been accepted into the program to receive an assistance dog with Dogs For Life.
The program includes the cost of therapy sessions with a Psychiatrist, Psychologist who will be using dog therapy, Social Worker and Occupational Therapist input and support for her family too.
Josie will slowly be exposed to being independent by becoming a team, with a trusted and specifically trained Service dog.
The cost of the program also includes the costs involved for, breeding, raising and training the dog.
When Josie is ready mentally and physically, she will meet with a chosen few trained dogs.
Then the trainers supporting Josie, will help with the dog pairing, and select one dog to work with, empower and teach Josie to trust.
The dog will then receive training specific to Josie’s needs. Eg support, comfort, stop Josie’s anxiety and self harm habits, take her to her car and a recognised safe person or spot.
The Dogs for Life program is a detailed program, which involves many life enrichment people.
The total cost for the approximate 2-3 year process, is $45000
Those who have known the details of the struggles Josie has grown up with, know how extremely brave and courageous she has been.
Those who have known Josie at some stage, now know a little of the struggles she was going through. Always while she was trying to be the best friend she could be to others.
Please, I ask you to think about the times she smiled, and the times she made you smile.
Please help us, help Josie, become a stronger independent woman, who can live her life without having to worry about the shadows of her past.
Please show your support by giving a donation and encouraging others to give a donation towards her total.
Please share this link with your friends, families, email companies, and share on any social media sites too.
Any personal messages of support to her would be appreciated. I do ask you please keep your message gentle and thoughtful.
Please send them to me. These messages will be passed on at the next appropriate time.
100% of every donation will go towards Josie’s ‘Dogs For Life’ program, and her independence journey.
I’m asking, please, consider any financial donation to help our beautiful girl continue to share her gifts with the world.
Many thanks in advance, Judy (and all Josie’s family)