San Diego, CA, June 19, 2017 (Newswire.com) - LaurieAnn, a grandmother and resident of San Diego, California, is passionate about her role as “Mimi” to her two grandchildren — Makayla “Emy” age 4 and Luke, who is about to turn 3 years old next month. But LaurieAnn’s passion is further fueled by her natural desire to help her grandchildren as they both cope with the life-threatening diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. Emy was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 16 months and Luke was diagnosed at the age of 2.
LaurieAnn is also a passionate advocate for dispelling the myth stigma surrounding Type 1 Diabetes and educating people about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, which can often be controlled with a balanced diet and watching one’s weight, Type 1 is caused when a virus attacks and permanently shuts down a person’s pancreas causing them to need insulin 24 hours a day. The children’s diet must contain a careful balance of foods with a special focus on the amount and intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have to be covered by insulin injection or through an insulin pump that is attached to the body delivering insulin through cannulas — similar to small IV catheters. Blood glucose levels have to be monitored several times each day and night, as well as after exercise or sleep. Common illnesses like a cold or flu are especially difficult for people with Type 1 as viruses and fevers almost always cause spikes in glucose levels. Blood glucose levels that are too high or too low are life-threatening events for people with Type 1 Diabetes.
LaurieAnn’s daughter, Brittany, now finds herself in the role of 24/7 health care provider to her children Emy and Luke. “On an average, Brittany is testing Emy and Luke’s blood glucose levels every two to three hours,” says LaurieAnn. “Doing the math — that’s 482 blood glucose test pricks every month,” adds LaurieAnn.
Because of her passionate concern for her grandchildren as well as her desire to help her daughter Brittany in coping with the life-threatening diagnosis both young children face, LaurieAnn has become a Volunteer Ambassador for Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR). LaurieAnn is working to raise funds to bring a Type 1 Diabetic Alert Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia. SDWR has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Autism, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, and Diabetes. To date, SDWR has almost 600 service dogs working across the country and around the world.
Dan Warren, Founder and President of Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, indicates that the Organization’s Diabetes alert dogs are trained to recognize and alert on the scent of low and or high blood glucose levels. “When the children’s blood glucose levels begin to fluctuate, their service dog will pick up the scent and give the alert for ‘high’ or ‘low’ blood glucose levels,” states Warren. Often diabetics don't "feel" their blood sugar fluctuation. This is an especially dangerous situation when a child is as young as Luke who may not be able to articulate that he feels ‘low.’ These events can lead to dangerous lows, which can result in seizures, coma, and even death.
A trained Diabetes alert dog is taught to be persistent to the point where it will go get another member of the household if the dog’s “person” does not respond. Additionally, these amazing dogs are trained to retrieve essentials needed such as Glucose tablets, Glucagon, insulin, juice boxes, testing meters or retrieve medication from a designated spot in the house. Alert dogs are further trained to dial out on K-9 equipped phones to summon emergency medical help if needed.
Unfortunately, LaurieAnn and her daughter Brittany have experienced three near death incidences for Emy which have been the impetus for LaurieAnn spearheading her grandchildren’s fundraising campaign for a diabetic alert dog, “Raising Hope for Emy & Luke…There’s a Diabetic Alert Dog.” The SDWR Organization has set up a fundraising campaign link for donations http://bit.ly/2rV3M1o.
What sets SDWR apart from other service dog organizations are the customized training methods and SDWR matches dogs to their “person” and in this case “persons” as the dog will be trained to help both children. According to Dan Warren, “that important bonding time between dog and person can begin to happen right away. For the over seven years we’ve been utilizing this method of dog placement, we’ve achieved amazing results.”
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the Organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure … there’s a dog.” To make a donation or learn more about how to get a diabetic service dog from SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetic-alert. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a puppy raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.
Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers