Questions: direct them to my facebook or twitter! Diagnosis and explanation of all of this is offered below, but keep in mind that some items there might be triggering. I don't have much contact with my family, so I decided to reach out to my social media for help
Hey, everyone. My name is Kat and I’m a queer 21 year old from Utah. I'm disabled and an ambulatory wheelchair user as of May. This is my fundraiser for training Emmett as a service dog to once again have independence in my life. Unfortunately, no insurance will cover the cost of training a service dog that can ultimately save and change my life.
My service dog will help me live more independently & help w psychiatric/mobility tasks related to BPD, Neuropathy, POTS, MCAS, migraines & PTSD. I’ve applied for disability and no longer have any source of income for the foreseeable future. Disability is a tough process and I can’t have a job while I apply. It takes 6 months for a decision and many people get denied the first time.
What I struggle with: I’ve lived with BPD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses for years now. I suffered a seizure in January 2020 while on a mood-stabilizer. As a result, I developed irreversible nerve damage known as Neuropathy. I also developed POTS + Tachycardia, Vertigo + migraines, and MCAS over the following months. This has led to over 53 procedures and countless weekly tests getting to the roots of what I experience, but nothing will allow me to reverse what has already happened to my health.
Mobility and physical symptoms: My neuropathy affects every part of my body, from my toes to my scalp, and I have ankle braces to make getting around easier due to constant whole-body numbness, burning, and tingling. Walking is tiring and painful due to this and I often twist my knees or ankles when I don’t have access to my ankle braces. I also struggle holding items without a handle as they fall from my hands before I notice they are slipping. POTS and Tachycardia cause my heart rate to rise every time I stand, causing moments of blacking out, dizziness, chest pain, and more, so I need my arms held and other assistance when I walk. Vertigo causes migraines and nausea when I’m exposed to triggers such as driving.
Possible tasks for Mobility: assistance standing, walking, retrieving items (such as meds), carrying items, opening doors, alerting of spells, regain mobility independence, calling 911 in case of medical emergency.
Mental illness symptoms: I am currently enrolled in group and individual therapy for BPD and PTSD. Both of these cause constant episodes of mood swings, suicidal behavior and attempts along with self harm, psychosis, and of course, depression and anxiety.
Possible tasks for Psychiatric: alerting change in mood, interrupting self harm and SI episodes + nightmares (through pawing, nudging, and licking), psycho-emotional grounding through deep pressure therapy (40+lb), reminders for meds, helping me adapt to new environment and assistance in public settings, calling crisis team during psychotic, manic, or suicidal episodes, and for therapeutic companionship healing when alone.
Goals after funding: I have done intensive research on the handling of service dogs and know how having one would help me reach my goals, hopefully allowing me to enroll in school again and to provide for myself through having a job again. I would also be able to walk around without human assistance - this allows me to go grocery shopping and using public transport. Due to my illness, I no longer have access to my drivers license as deemed appropriate by my doctors, so public transport would be necessary.Another goal is to reduce the harm caused to myself during BPD episodes and panic attacks.