$2,590 of $15,540
19 donations

This fundraiser ended on 04/30/10

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Raise money for seizure alert dog through Canine Helpers for the Handicapped,Inc. for Riley Mclaughlin a 6 year old with periventricular Nodular Heterotopia having frequent seizures

In case you haven't heard:

Riley McLaughlin

A new beginning... Our little girl gets diagnosed and begins dealing with a new way of life....

The Diagnosis:
This Past September Riley had an ear infection. During her high fever she began having Temporal Lobe Seizures. These became more frequent and then started happening without fever. After meeting with Cardiologists and Neurologists, and having tests and an MRI, it was determined that she has Periventricular Nodular Heterotopia Syndrome (PNH). This means that when developing as a fetus the gray matter cells that were supposed to migrate out and form her cortex, got lost and formed nodules around her neural tube/ventricle leaving her with 50% or less gray matter making up her brain.This is an extremely rare condition, with most people having their seizure onset occurring during their 20's. Riley is one of only 3 or 4 children in the world known to have this condition. This condition causes, but is not limited to: uncontrollable and inoperable Epilepsy including dangerous and potentially lethal "grand-mal" seizures, Dyslexia, Memory Problems, Learning Disabilities, frequent infections, and many other unknowns.

The New Way of Life:
Because of the PNH Syndrome now Riley has to be monitored 24/7, and whoever is with her must be trained in administering her Diastat medication for seizures lasting more than 5 minutes, and taught to recognize and record all types of seizures. She can't bathe, sleep, play or do anything alone. One of the most promising advances lately, in bringing some independence to these people, has been the use of Seizure Alert Dogs (SAD's). These dogs are advanced guide dogs that can predict seizure activity anywhere from several minutes to an hour before the seizure begins, alerting Riley and an adult to the seizures, as well as retrieve medications, turn on lights, open doors, and even call 911 if needed. They
also help to carry items and often help
children with disabilities to remain social
and independent in many settings .

What to do:

Riley has been accepted by, and has started the application process with, Canine Helpers for The Handicapped, Inc. which is located in Lockport, NY. They are a 501 c- (3) Non-profit organization that trains service dogs. The cost of a Service Dog with lifetime follow-up training is: the cost of the dog, plus $15,540.00 for training, plus an application fee of $150.00. Once the dog is ready for work Riley and an adult must go to Lockport for two or three weeks of training. It seems like a lot of money to invest, at first, but once you take into consideration the numerous training hours, and the independence and safety this dog will bring it is indeed..... priceless. These dogs are often called angels with paws. To help raise the funds quickly and start this process as soon as possible we have set up a "K-9 Helper Fund" at the Merchants Bank in Jericho, VT.  Donations can be tax-deductable and can be made directly to this account by sending checks made out to Riley with "K-9 Helper" in the Memo area to:
The Merchants Bank,
#205 VT Route 15 , PO Box 369
Jericho, VT 05465
Or by donating here.  We sincerely thank you for your help, and will keep everyone up to date on our progress!

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