18 year-old Evan has Autism, Cerebral Palsy, developmental disabilities, and Type1 Diabetes. Along with these diagnoses comes a host of challenges for him and his mom, Marilyn, to navigate on a daily basis. Evan is non-verbal and has mobility challenges. He can't communicate to his mom if he may feel something is wrong with his sugar levels.
Living in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Marilyn's 24/7 responsibility is every piece of care for Evan. From feeding and dressing him, bathing and shaving him, to helping him get around at home and to/from school.
There are limited supports in the community for Evan. He has an EA and there is a nurse in the school. There is an assistant that comes to their home for a few hours on a bi-weekly basis to allow Marilyn some time out. She is always on call; always giving direction on how to adjust Evan's insulin pump. She is up till the wee hours of the morning every night so she can check Evan's blood sugar before she goes to bed.
Both Evan and Marilyn would benefit greatly from having a Diabetes Alert Dog. Evan's health and safety and Marilyn's peace of mind would both benefit greatly.
Diabetes Alert Dogs can be trained and made available to those who need them. Our intention is to purchase a puppy and train the puppy to alert to high and low blood sugar levels. This will be done with the use of a professional trainer who will come to the home and work with the puppy, Evan, and Marilyn on site.
We are hopeful that the specific requirements of a service dog will be identified through Volhard testing of the puppy and the input and assistance of the breeder. Our current hopes are that a Barbet puppy will be the suitable breed for this purpose. Barbet dogs are a medium sized dog, sturdy, intelligent, and also low on the alergen scale.
Any money raised beyond our goal will be used towards other assistive devices for Evan. These include home renovations for lifts, wheelchair access, and ramps as well as vehicle modifications to allow easy access for Marilyn to get Evan in and out.