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John Baerlein's Fundraiser:

Service Dog For a Hero

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John Baerlein via Crowdrise
May 14, 2012

Please help me get back my mobility, and independence. Help me to be the father and husband I was, and not the invalid Im becoming.  See more


John Baerlein


My name is John Baerlein. I am a 46 y/o husband and father of a 16 y/o angel. I am an Air Force vet from 84-88 where I worked as a munitions system Specialist. And for the past 23 years, I have been a paramedic. I have worked for 18 years with the Nassau County Police Department. In that time, I have helped countless thousands of people in their time of need, be it medical need or traumatic need. I have been to plane crashes, train shootings, murders, and anything else that you could think of that would turn most peoples stomachs. I have been suffering from PTSD from these incident as well as others I had to deal with in my many years on the street.

I began 10 years ago to teach. As an instructor, I considered it an honor to mold the minds of those coming up, wanting to become EMT's, paramedics, RN's, Physician Assistants, and Doctors. Over the past few weeks since my story has been spread, I have received some of the most incredible letters and emails from past students that I thought would have forgotten about me. The opposite occured. They thanked me for inspiring them to become the best hey could. I inspired them to live a life of helping others. I inspired them to be selfless. And now, I needed their help.

I have been fighting a rare form of spindle cell sarcoma called hemangiopericytoma for three years. The cancer is fast moving and does not respond at all to chemo or radiation. So the only treatment is to find it, and cut it out. Due to radical surgeries to my left leg, groin, neck, and spine, I have been left with impaired balance and impaired mobility. My mobility is almost non existent anymore. And still, every 4 months, I go in to see where the cancer will pop up next.

Ive come to a point in my life, where instead of being selfless and doing all I can to help others, I am in need of help. Help that I never have accepted in the past and thought I would never need to accept. But I do. I need a service dog. Desperately. In order to gain back some independence and improve my quality of life. The problem is that I can not afford the dog. They run anywhere from $20,000 - $40,000 a piece when trained. If I go to a not for profit organization, they can not guarantee a shepherd, which I need because I am a big guy, and the wait is up to 4 years for a dog. I dont have 4 years to wait.

My goal is to go for walks with my daughter without fear of falling. My goal is to be able to get dressed without my wife helping me. My goal is to live again.

I recently started a fundraiser to get the service dog. I am not and can not be a 501 c3 for 2 years. I am hoping for any kind of help that you all can offer. Here is the link to my fundraising collection site. Helping does not only mean monetarily. Printing and posting this letter so that instead of only a few reading it, many more can read it and hopefully be able to donate. $10 from 2 people is a great start. Passing this on for hundreds or thousands to read adds up.
If you go to my facebook page, or to WBAB's morning blog, or even Winter Solstice Dreams Web Blog, you will see some of the responses from people whos lives I have crossed over the years. The only life I want to change or improve now is my daughters. I want her to remember her dad as the guy who would go on walks with her and talk to her about life. I dont want her to remember me as the dad who was always in bed.
Please go to my website to see the segment shown on FIOS NEWS about me

Anything would help! Thank you for your time in reading this!

John Baerlein



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John is working on selecting a charity so you can support Service Dog For a Hero.