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This fundraiser ended on 09/04/11

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The family of Gail Hoffecker is uniting to raise money to train a service dog that will greatly assist Gail as her constant companion

Many of you that are close to Gail have seen her health drastically deteriorate over the past 10 years. She has been diagnosed with RSD, a progressive nerve condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. She often experiences varying degrees of burning pain, intense swelling, extreme sensitivity to touch, muscle spasms and weakness. She has undergone several extremely painful surgeries and countless procedures during this time in an attempt to reduce pain and restore her mobility. None of these treatments have provided any substantial relief. There is no cure for this disorder and she is required to take several medications to treat the symptoms. They also have very serious side effects including fatigue, dizziness and nausia.

Gail often has acute flare ups which cause sudden severe pain, light headedness and loss of muscle strength. There is no telling when they will occur and many times she has been alone when they happen either at home or in the community and has struggled by herself to recover.

Recently Gail has come in contact with an organization called Amazing Tails located in Oxford, Pennsylvania. They are a non-profit corporation dedicated to training service dogs to assist people with physical disabilities. What makes this organization even more unique is that they primarily work with shelter dogs. They are able to generously give those dogs, whose future is very bleak, a new life while also helping a person in need.

Gail and her husband Ben have visited the training facility at Amazing Tails and they say these service dogs are truelly amazing! They are taught to retrieve items such as a cordless phone or dropped keys on the floor. They are able to turn light switches on and off, or to open heavy doors. They can assist a person with standing up from a chair or off the floor. The dogs may be trained to help a person get dressed or un-dressed. They are trained to provide balance and stability to a person while walking or stepping up stairs and curbs. What is even more amazing is that these dogs are even specially trained to sense certain medical issues ­such as epileptic seizures, low blood sugar, changes in medication levels and certain heart conditions before they occur.

Each dog is bonded strictly to their owner. Gail will be required to live at their facility for 2 weeks prior to bringing the dog home. This enables them to work with the trainers together so the dog can learn her specific needs and she can learn the many ways the dog will be able to help her. We highly encourage you to visit the Amazing Tails website ( ) to get even more information about this organization, their dogs and the benefits they can provide to a disabled person.

Due to the extensive training regiment required to teach these dogs to become service dogs, the cost of recieving one is several thousand dollars. Her family knows that anyone would be hard pressed to find a better person suited for this program than Gail. She is a kind, loving, generous person and a highly caring and responsible pet owner. Her dogs are her kids and she would do anything for them. We know she could benefit so greatly from the restored mobility and independence a service dog could provide. We are asking those who know and love Gail to please make a small donation to help her obtain a service dog. We realize the economy is not good right now and things are tight for everyone so any donation, no matter how small would be so much appreciated! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please keep Gail in your thoughts and prayers!
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