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62 donations

This fundraiser ended on 09/30/11

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Raising funds to finish training our daughters service dog, Daisy.

A fundraiser to help with the expense of a service dog for our daughter Faith. Faith's dog, Daisy is starting her training on Sept 12th. Fully training a service dog can cost up to $6000. We are a single income military family and are unable to come up with this amount of money on our own. Faith survived a right hemisphere stroke. She also has mild Cerebral Palsy, Autism and Familial Mediterranean Fever Syndrome. A service dog will open the world to Faith while helping keep her safe and secure. Thank you for any help.

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Hello, thanks for stopping by and reading about our fundraiser. With your help we can raise money to get a service dog for Faith, our 7 year-old disabled daughter.

Donate $1, $5, $10, whatever amount you feel comfortable giving. Pass this story along to your friends. YOU will make a HUGE difference in a young girl’s life.

You might be wondering what a service dog would do for a person, let along a child with autism. For many disabled people, service dogs bridge the gap of disability and ability. Service dogs help their human partners become more independent by providing assistance walking and navigating their environment, retrieving dropped items and returning them, helping to open doors, providing a sense of security by acting as a barrier between their partner and the rest of the world. They also provide emotional support when needed most; interrupting self-harming behavior, alerting others of wandering, and easing transitions by providing a constant calming presence. A service dog will undergo many months of training in the general area of need for their disabled human partner, followed by many more months of training that is specialized for their partner’s specific needs. This extensive specialized training results in not only high cost but also long wait times as the dog progresses through the initial phases and into its specialized training. The simple reality of our situation is even though we love our daughter immeasurably, we cannot be with her 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but a service dog can.

An Introduction to Faith

Faith was born at Trident Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina. She was a much anticipated , most welcome addition to our family of five. Her brothers and sister anxiously waited with friends while Mom and Dad went to the hospital. All was well, with everything right on schedule as we checked into the hospital. I could say that everything else went without a hitch but that wouldn’t be entirely true – shortly after her birth Faith stopped breathing and was resuscitated by our delivery nurse. We still vividly recall her call for help into the intercom. During the first several weeks we noticed that Faith wasn’t nursing and was developing a full body rash that would not go away. We switched from one formula to the next, trying everything we could but with no luck. Allergy testing revealed life-threatening allergies to dairy, soy, egg, wheat, corn, oat, peanut and all tree nuts. And through it all she fought on. Just when we thought we had a handle on our daughter’s medical issues we were given the news that she had suffered a stroke just prior to birth as the developmental and physical delays became more and more evident.

She began a rigorous therapy program to include Early Intervention services and private Physical and Occupational Therapy. Each developmental step achieved, each milestone gained, was a blessing. We truly did not know what the future held for our little girl. Our daughter is still a medical mystery. She has many diagnoses, among them Autism, mild hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, hemi facial micro soma, global developmental delay, Familial Mediterranean Fever Syndrome, left ventricle hardening of her heart, reduced kidney function and kidney scarring. She has recently graduated from being G-tube fed. It has been quite the journey so far, a scant 7 years and yet through it all she has brought so much joy and happiness to our world. During hospitalizations she was known to bring her nurses to tears with her thank you’s. Her heart goes out to those she feels are hurt or abandoned.

We recently visited her grandparents. During our visit the inevitable meltdown occurred. The complete change in routine was just too much for her to handle. Within moments Grandma’s dog, a sweet little corgi, is over by Faith. A few nuzzles, some nudges and the meltdown begins to subside almost as quickly as it had started. Watching the interaction between animal and child made us realize how important it could be to Faith.

Here we are, with this loving child who wants nothing more than to be part of the world as best as she can. She becomes easily tired, wants constant contact with her Mom or Dad (mostly Mom – Dad is an active duty Navy Submariner) who becomes overwhelmed if presented with too much unknown all at once. She is a creature of habit, with a strict adherence to the plan as it is laid in her mind. A buffer, in the form of someone familiar, helps to ease her fears. And this is where the service dog would begin to make the greatest impact. Allowing her the security to transition between the familiar and that which is new, giving her the additional support to keep moving forward, the extra hands to recover those things that she could not hold.

With your help this is possible. Please help us get as much exposure as possible. Thank you for reading our story, and thank you for your help.
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