When 8 year old Aiden Heath of Waitsfield, Vermont was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 3, his life was turned upside down. He would require an insulin pump and have to carefully monitor his blood sugar levels to ensure his safety. One way to make life easier for people with this condition is to purchase a service dog.
These dogs are able to detect high or low blood sugar levels and warn their owners (or their owner’s relatives) before the person suffers consequences like seizures or slipping into a coma. This is especially important for people who do not display symptoms of low blood sugar levels, as the dogs are able to detect danger almost half an hour before electronic monitors.
Aiden dreamed of being able to have such a dog that could keep him safe while being a great pet. However, the issue with these dogs is that they are very expensive. Aiden was aware of this, and diligently saved every penny he could for the last 4 years. He managed to amass an impressive $6000, but was still short of the $15,000 required for a service dog.
Luckily, news media caught wind of Aiden’s inspiring journey, and raised public awareness of his perseverance. His mother, Jenni, set up a GoFundMe page online, and donations began rolling in. Despite needing only $9000, people were so taken with the boy’s story that he ended up making over $20,000.
This was enough to purchase Angel, a chocolate lab that has passed all necessary training to become a service dog. After four years of hard work, and a little help from online donors, Aiden’s dream came true. He is thrilled, and his mother now has peace of mind, knowing that her son has a loyal and perceptive companion to keep him safe.
Often, news features terrible events from around the world. Sometimes, however, a heartwarming story can bring people together. Through drawing attention to people in need, public support can be organized online to provide assistance. By coming together and supporting one another, children like Aiden can get the help they need to live happy and healthy lives.