Service Dog for Kate Haygood

Selfless. That’s the one word we think of when the Haygood family comes to mind. In the whirlwind of a life they live in, the last thing they would ever do is ask for help, so as her friends, we decided to step up.

Kate was born July 8, 2015. A little red headed, blue-eyed, bundle perfection. When Kate was 10 months old, she was taking a bath with big sister Madelynn when she slumped to her side and laid in the water. The evening quickly turned into a call to 911 and a trip to the hospital.

After a series of episodes similar to this and being referred to Nemours, the family learned that Kate has a genetic mutation that is associated with a condition called Dravet Syndrome.

Dravet Syndrome is a lifelong catastrophic form of Epilepsy that includes the potential for many medical complications, including frequent life-threatening prolonged seizures. The current treatment for Dravet Syndrome is extremely limited as the seizures are often refactory to medication.

So why the page you ask? Not for medical bills or to help the family get through — they have that covered. This is for Kate. Purely Kate, always Kate.

It has been proven, even by one of Kate’s own doctors, that service dogs can have a significant impact on not only her quality of her life, but her social interaction and overall well-being. These dogs are speciality trained by Four Paws in Ohio for seizure alert – sense and respond to seizures, as well as:
* Mobility- the dog has a harness to help steady owners while walking on uneven ground.
* Behavior disruption – The dog is trained to nuzzle, lick, etc. to help calm or stop an unwanted behavior such as temper tantrums.
* Companionship/Socialization – It is difficult for a child with special needs to feel comfortable in our social world. This dog will be Kates best friend and hopefully encourage her to make new relationships easily.
* Sense of security and safety – The dog can go to the hospital with her, to therapy and even to school! This will help her in transitions and in stressful situations.

This is where we need your help. These dogs are highly trained and therefore have a high price tag, to the tune of 20k. Anything and everything would help, the family would never ask for help because they are so giving {every year they organize are VERY LARGE toy drive to give presents to children who are hospitalized for the Christmas season}. So let’s give back to a family who has been through so much.
Love: Kelly, Lanette, Brittney, Brandy, and Christa
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Lanette Strong 
Lakeland, FL
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