Team Nicholas - Cause For Service Paws
Organized by: Jenna A
Thank You!!! Please Continue To Support
July 03, 2016
Nicholas is an 11 year old boy who has a complex medical history. After 10 years of testing, he received a primary diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease, this was added to his other secondary diagnoses of Epilepsy, Spastic Diplegia (a form of Cerebral Palsy), Anxiety Disorder, and Learning Disabilities. More on that in a moment. Nicholas' doctors and family strongly believe that he would greatly benefit from the aid of a service dog. To get a service dog, there is typically a wait of up to 2 years and a cost that can sometimes reach $20,000. The family had started to submit applications for a dog and, to help defray the costs associated with this, we have been in the early stages of planning a huge fundraiser for the end of the summer. This week, a miracle occurred! Nicholas' family was put in touch with a local organization that has started a new program. This program will place a puppy and train it to be a service dog while living with the family. This can happen as early as a few days from now! The organization, Divine Intervention Animal Rescue, rescues animals from high kill shelters in Georgia and matches them with local families. For the families that are in need of a service dog, they are then partnered with a trainer who will work with them weekly to train the dog. It is at a considerably lower cost and all parties are ready to begin this process immediately. The family is now looking at only needing a few thousand dollars (versus $20,000) to cover the cost of adoption, training, training supplies, certification and veterinary bills. Mitochondial disease is a rare chronic, and in Nicholas' case, genetic disorder that prevents the Mitochondria from making enough energy for the cells and organs to function properly. Nicholas has Complex IV, or Cytochrome C Oxidase Deficiency, type and experiences many effects from it in his daily life. He has autonomic dysfunction which prevents him from maintaining a safe body temperature, increase risk of illness, exercise intolerance, and GI issues. Nicholas also experiences neurological problems, seizures, developmental delays, anxiety, severe learning disabilities, and a combination of weak and spastic muscular features. His family and Doctor are confident that a properly trained service dog will help Nicholas practice energy conservation, alert him of unsafe body temperature, provide him with many psychological benefits, assist in safe ambulation, and help him to be more independent in his environment... among so many other things. Nicholas is an animal lover and a very responsible young man. He is excited about the prospects of having a service dog as a companion and we know that he will be a fantastic person for his new furry friend. We have set up this CrowdRise Account to fill the immediate need in helping to defray the cost of adopting and training a service for Nicholas. It's absolutely amazing how fast things have happened and we are so happy and excited for him! Thanks in advance for your support!