Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD) for Joseph

This fund is on behalf of my 11 year old son, Joseph. He is a Type 1 diabetic; diagnosed when he was 6 1/2. Since the very beginning of our journey with this disease; we have had trouble controlling the many highs and lows. Joseph "honeymooned" for almost the entire first year that he was diagnosed. The honeymoon phase is when type 1 diabetics are first diagnosed and the amount of insulin required decreases and makes it seem like the person does not have diabetes. As I said for Joseph, this phase lasted almost an entire year; and we actually had to take him off both the long and short acting insulin. Once he went back on insulin, he had a hard time adjusting to his new "normal" at school. We got him a pump in January of 2012 to assist with regulating his numbers. Once Joseph was put on the pump it gave us so much freedom when it came to him having snacks and treats like the other kids during school; but, it also meant that I had to get up at various times during the night to check his blood sugar. Although we have this pump, Joseph continues to have severe blood sugar variations. Joseph has had a couple incidents where he became incoherent at school; and once he passed out and EMS had to be called.

Despite everything he has going on; Joseph is a very active and outgoing child. He loves to play basketball and football, and plans to run track. I encourage him to do whatever he loves to do. Of course, that means that I have to sit through all of his practices and games to monitor his blood sugar levels. Joseph is going in to 7th grade in the fall. Last school year his sugars ranges were 28, 46, 57, 61… and highs of 579 and some in the 300's. The biggest problem is that for some reason his body isn't recognizing the signs of the low sugars. He has only found these numbers because he was checking his sugar in preparation for lunch. The risk of coma and death is so high when you get into numbers this low. I fear that one of these times he won't be so blessed. I know most people find it hard to believe when I give his numbers... But, 28 isn't the lowest reading that he's had. He has had a blood sugar of 17 and was able to speak and function. Although, I say he is able to function; there are deficits noted. His thought processing is slower, his problem solving is decreased, and his behavior is different. On the flip... he has had a sugar of 67 and been disoriented and unable to function at all. When he gets into the higher numbers he can have excessive thirst, frequent urination, and severe mood swings... with irritabilty and anger being very common.  As a single mom, I constantly worry about the wellbeing of my son. I worry about what all the lows could be doing to his brain and his entire body. It is common for me to get up and check his sugar @ 3:30 in the morning, and it's in the 40’s or 50’s. Finding these numbers means that I have to feed him and insure that he is safe... and frequently getting back to sleep is next to impossible!

My goal is to raise enough money to obtain a potentially lifesaving Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD). The DAD will be trained to alert us of blood sugars that are out of the normal range (80-140). I have been investigating them and they range in prices of $15,000-$20,000. The company that I would like to use is asking $15,000 for their dogs. They require a $2500 down payment before they will accept us into the program and start training a dog for my son (which will take at least 6-12 months). My son worries about me because I am a single mom working full time, functioning on very little sleep, and being a breast cancer survivor of 8 years. Sometimes, the stress worrying about me plays into some of the fluctuations in his blood sugar.

This campaign is to raise money to give my son freedom to go more places without me; and to help me monitor him throughout the night. Thank you for any amount that you are willing to donate to the potentially life saving service dog!

Donations

  • Lisa & Marcus Moore 
    • $200 
    • 55 mos
  • Elizabeth Swann 
    • $50 
    • 55 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 56 mos
  • Kehoe Family 
    • $25 
    • 56 mos
  • Malissa Stringer 
    • $50 
    • 56 mos
See all

Organizer

Valeria Griffin-Coleman 
Organizer
Flint, MI
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