Life Saving Dog for Crystal

Crystal has suffered with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) for many years.

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is an immunological condition in which mast cells inappropriately and excessively release chemical mediators, resulting in a range of chronic symptoms, sometimes including anaphylaxis or near-anaphylaxis attacks. Primary symptoms include cardiovascular, dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological and respiratory problems.

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a life altering and debilitating health condition. Simply standing up can be a challenge for affected people as their body is unable to adjust to gravity. POTS is due to an abnormal response by the autonomic (automatic) nervous system and is characterized by orthostatic intolerance. Symptoms include palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, sweating, nausea, fainting and headaches, and are associated with a persistent increase in heart rate from the lying to upright position.  

Crystal was a healthy, vibrant young woman when suddenly her whole world was turned upside down. She went from being a professional, working in marketing, to being fully disabled.  She has literally been hospitalized and in the ICU hundreds of times.  She has come very close to losing her battle with MCAS on more than one occasion, but miraculously keeps living and fighting.  

Recently, she and her husband realized a dream of having a baby which most doctors did not think was even possible. She was hospitalized throughout her pregnancy but 9 months ago gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl, Gisele.  Gisele has given Crystal and her husband Stan so much joy and hope.

However, with the birth of her daughter and the challenges of her illness, she needs the assistance of a service dog.  Having the support of this life-saving dog would be another miracle for this family.  The dog would be able to alert to scents in the air that are deadly to Crystal, pull her out of situations deemed unsafe, alert her to impending anaphylaxis, and assist with her POTS syndrome.  Due to her high needs, her dog will require extra training time and cost.  

Crystal is, in one word, a hero. She is the person who helped us so much when my daughter Martina was sick, and we had no idea what was wrong.  She was instrumental in getting us to Boston where Martina's illness was finally diagnosed.  I found her story and contacted her immediately. I cannot tell you how many times we have called her in the middle of the night while at the ER, when we need support and advice. She is amazing.  She has helped so many in the MCAS world.

Thank you!
  • Nicole Dudley 
    • $20 
    • 5 mos
  • Kathryn M. Smith 
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Leanna Cunningham 
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • David Rooker 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Ryan Seavey 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Loretta Morse Leighton 
Wiscasset, ME
Jamie Robinson 
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