Service Dog and Scalp Accupuncture

$16,540 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 249 people in 38 months
The goal of this campaign is two-fold.  I hope to raise money to help my son Leo get a service dog, and to help him receive a medical treatment called scalp accupuncture.

Leo is one of a kind - he is a sparkling light.  He  is two and a half, and loves sports, puppies and dinosaurs.  He loves to beat box, sing songs, and read books.  He is full of love - it radiates from him.  He is the most joyful person I have ever met.  He is an old soul, I think, but one that finds delight in everything.  He is sensitive, empathic, and even at two years old has a keen sense of justice.  He is fiercely determined and works so hard to master mobility skills and the independence that comes with them.

Leo experiences atypical presentation of white matter in his brain.  Neurologists believe this is related to a condition called vanishing white matter disease, though genetic testing has yet to confirm this diagnosis.  Leo experiences symptoms similar to those of a person with cerebral palsy.  His gross motor development is significantly impacted.  Leo receives physical therapy several times a month which has helped him learn to walk using a walker, and recently began using orthodic braces.  He strives every day for independence.  His physical therapists believe that a service dog - a balance dog, specifically - would be of significant benefit in increasing his independence and mobility.  I often observe Leo watch other children at play, frustrated that he can not join them in their activities.  A service dog would not only help Leo with his mobility and balance, but would have the added benefit of being a loving companion for him, as well.

We have connected with an organization called Kings Valley Collies, who train balance dogs for people with impaired mobility.  The owner and trainer, Leslie, has many ideas of how to train a service dog to accomodate Leo's unique circumstances.  The cost of a service dog is $14,000 with a $200 application fee.  Once a dog is selected for Leo and trained, we will be required to complete two weeks of on-site training with Leo and his dog.  I am hoping to raise funds for the application fee, the dog, and to cover expenses of travel and accomodations for two weeks of training, as well as any registration fees for service dogs and incidentals that may come along.  

We are also pursuing a course of treatment for Leo called scalp accupuncture with a physician in New Mexico, Dr. Hao.  Scalp accupuncture combines the ancient science of traditional Chinese accupuncture with modern knowledge of the human brain and neurology.  Dr. Hao has had incredible results in his work with patients with cerebral palsy, stroke, Parkinson's Disease and MS.  Currently, there are no local practitioners that practice this type of accupuncture, and certainly not on children.  Patients who have been treated by Dr. Hao have seen their symptoms related to diseases that cause injury to the brain lessen significantly - some to the point of feeling "cured".  It is our hope that treatment from Dr. Hao will positively impact Leo's mobility, speech, and other manifestations of his neurological health.  Treatment with Dr. Hao is anticipated to cost $650 and travel expenses $1,000.  We would hope to make a follow up visit after several months.

I have to confess a certain amount of discomfort with fundraising in this way, but the costs associated with these enterprises are far beyond anything I can provide for my son on my own.  As a mother, the only thing that I want in the world is for my child to have every opportunity to lead a life that is fulfilling, inspiring, and full of meaning.  I want him to be able to do the things that bring him joy.  While the verdict is still pending as to the cause of his disability, his doctors all agree that helping Leo acquire as many skills as possible, to develop as much as possible, is the best strategy to follow for a positive long term prognosis.  As for Leo himself, nothing in the world would give him more pleasure than the ability to keep up with other kids, to one day play sports and run around with other children.  I can't say what the future will hold for him, but I do know that as his mother I have to give him every opportunity to live his full potential.
For more information on Leo's journey, please visit his blog:   http://www.freemindsopenheartsgentlehands.com/

For more information on Kings Valley Collies:
http://www.kingsvalleycollies.com

For more information on Dr. Hao's work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0gYnvWlqSQ&feature=youtu.be

https://www.facebook.com/groups/618473824832875/


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Leo and I spent Labor Day weekend doing team training with Angel and Leslie in Corvallis, and Angel came home with us on Monday! Team training went really well. We practiced working with Angel in a variety of community settings and practicing practical skills like getting in and out of the car and eating in restaurants. Angel and Leo are a great team. I'm amazed by how gentle and intuitive Angel is in her work with Leo, and Leo is absolutely in love with his puppy. Angel is setting in to life in our home and we are working on establishing routines and helping Angel feel comfortable in her new environment. I'm hopeful that Angel will be able to join Leo at school next week. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to Leo's fund! You have helped make this amazing relationship with Angel possible for Leo, a relationship that will facilitate his physical independence as well as providing him with, in his words, his "best friend in the whole world". I couldn't be more grateful for the generosity of our community and the support you have all offered us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Leo and I are in Corvallis, waiting for Angel to arrive! Updates to follow...
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This is the update we've all been waiting for! Leo and I will spend the weekend in Corvallis doing team training with Angel and Leslie, and then Angel will be coming home with us on Monday! Thanks you so much to everyone who has made this possible for Leo. He is beside himself with excitement. If anyone is still interested in donating, any further funds raised will help us finance our stay in Corvallis over the weekend and purchase the supplies needed to make Angel here in Portland. Thanks again, everyone, for the love and support you've shown our family. Angel's presence in Leo's life will be such a gift; we couldn't be more grateful.
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Hi everyone! I just spoke with Leslie, Leo's dog trainer, and we have a visit scheduled for Friday. Angel's training is progressing and she is taking some certification tests in August. After she gains certification she will have to be spayed (she had her last litter of puppies a few months ago), and once she has recovered from that it sounds like she will be ready to begin training with Leo and come home with us! I will be sure to post pictures after Leo and Angel visit one another on Friday. Thank you everyone for your ongoing support!
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Read a Previous Update
Lara Elizabeth Foy
38 months ago
1
1

Rashelle, where are you living? I'm in school for acupuncture & know some amazing scalp acupuncturists in the greater bay area. I'm at 831 212 5725. Give me a call. I may be able to get you all some additional low cost care. Best of luck to you!!!

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Valerie Hunt
34 months ago

oops that would be train...no brain here. but Leslie is wonderful

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Valerie Hunt
34 months ago

Rashelle Kings Valley Collies/ Leslie is amazing. She helped us trane Hero. I can't say enough good about her and her dedication to the training and the dogs.

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$16,540 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 249 people in 38 months
Created August 17, 2015
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$15
Anonymous
25 months ago
$100
Anonymous
25 months ago
DW
$20
Daniel Windler
25 months ago

Thank for the good news ! Do you have health insurance for Angel ? Yes, you really can get health insurance for pets now; and I think it is a good idea. Even a small emergency can cost hundreds !

$150
Anonymous
25 months ago
Lara Elizabeth Foy
38 months ago
1
1

Rashelle, where are you living? I'm in school for acupuncture & know some amazing scalp acupuncturists in the greater bay area. I'm at 831 212 5725. Give me a call. I may be able to get you all some additional low cost care. Best of luck to you!!!

+ Read More
Valerie Hunt
34 months ago

oops that would be train...no brain here. but Leslie is wonderful

+ Read More
Valerie Hunt
34 months ago

Rashelle Kings Valley Collies/ Leslie is amazing. She helped us trane Hero. I can't say enough good about her and her dedication to the training and the dogs.

+ Read More
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