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This fundraiser ended on 10/01/11

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This is a benefit to raise funds for a service animal for Luke Ford.

This benefit is for my son Luke. Luke is my youngest child, and he is three and a half. I knew when Luke was born he was a little off. He didn't really look at me, he seemed to be off in his own world. But he was a baby...I thought maybe he just wasn't that interested in As he got older he started showing more signs of what he would be diagnosed with. He started flapping his arms and would not play with other children. It was as if none of us existed to him. When he turned one I was anxiously awaiting that first word. At about 14 months he said mama. He has never said it again. Or anything else for that matter. He babbles like a 9 month old, but he never forms words. I fought with his doctor about a referral to get him diagnosed. We started the process at about two years old and after being tested at Chicago Children's Hospital he was officially diagnosed by the state of Illinois. He is considered to be in the middle of the spectrum, and because of this diagnosis he is also considered legally disabled. He is non-verbal and gets daily therapy-speech, developmental and occupational.

One of my biggest concerns for my son is wandering. This is incredibly dangerous. If he is not watched constantly in any situation he can put himself in danger. He has no concern nor sense of his own well being. I have frantically searched for a solution to this. A lot of parents purchase a gps device for their children, but Luke will not wear anything like that on his skin. And that would only help once he was lost. I found a group called Animals for Autism. They provide service animals specifically for children with autism that wander. You can go to their website here:
I would very much like to provide this for my son. However the cost of the animal starts at $5000. I am a single mother with two other children, and this is beyond my reach. Never would I ask for help...but I would do anything for my children. They are my world. So please...any little bit helps. Any money raised beyond this will be donated to Animals for Autism in the hopes that some other needy family will be able to get a dog for their child. Thank you so much.
~Janell Tucker
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