Help K Adopt a Service Dog for Her Epilepsy!

For: K. Copeland
Columbus, OH
Organizer: A. Stiffler
Help K Adopt a Service Dog for Her Epilepsy! (K. Copeland)
$5,800
of $10,000 goal
58% Complete
Raised by 127 donors

The Story

This is a fundraiser to adopt a service dog for K to help with her day-to-day needs while living with epilepsy. In case you're curious about who we are, what her condition is like, or what our current goals are, please read on!

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About Us

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We're A. Stiffler and K. Copeland, a queer couple who makes their living creating comics, stories, and illustrations, with a focus on LGBT culture, mental health, and disabilities. You might have gotten to know us through ChaosLife or FindChaos! In fact, we've known each other since we were 14 and 12, so when K experienced her first seizure in late 2016, it came as a shock to both of us, which brings me to...

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K's Condition

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The first hospital visit in our adult lives was after K's initial tonic clonic seizure. Several more seizures and hospital visits after, K was finally diagnosed with epilepsy. This diagnosis means a lot of things for her, including not being able to drive, having to be accompanied while out of the house, trial and error with various medications and routines to manage symptoms, and limiting many activities because of their potential to unexpectedly trigger her seizures. K has spent her life being fiercely independent and active, so this new reality has caused her nearly unmanageable depression and anxiety, which exacerbates her symptoms. Her epilepsy is still not under control with partial seizures happening nearly every day and worse events typically once a month. I'm doing the best I can to support and monitor her on my own, but with full-time work hours and keeping up with our day-to-day needs, it just isn't fair to her well-being. So...

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Our Goals

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We want to adopt a service dog. We've talked it over and researched for months, consulted the laws and regulations, spoken with K's doctors, and collectively decided it's the best step we can do right now for her quality of life, especially since her seizures are resistant to current medications. A service dog would be trained to respond to her particular needs, including detecting seizures as they're coming on, warning her to sit or rest to avoid falls, rolling her over or providing other protection for her as a seizure happens, helping her with daily tasks like fetching items when she feels unsafe walking, alerting me if she's ill, and providing anxiety relief. Having a service dog will also help K regain independence by giving her security when she goes out for walks, runs errands alone, or visits family and friends.

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Why A Fundraiser?

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Simply put, getting a service dog is expensive. With our savings tied up in ongoing projects and our monthly income going towards living expenses and medical bills, we simply don't have the extra lump sum it takes to obtain a service dog, despite having the budget for its ongoing food and care. This fundraiser will help to cover the cost of adoption, transportation, basic training, initial vet visits/shots, and its certification as a service animal. Whether or not we raise the needed funds here, it will continue to be a goal we work to save for because getting a service dog and completing its training is a long process which can't begin soon enough for K. 

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I hope you consider helping us and sharing our YouCaring fundraiser where you can. I've set a low-ballpark goal for the expenses I've researched and will adjust our goal amount to accurately reflect the costs when/if we get the adoption process underway. I appreciate the hell out of you visiting our page and reading through this. Our entire lives have been built on the foundation of you all supporting us as a collective and I'm incredibly grateful to have gotten to this point no matter what happens. Thanks for everything and all the love from both of us.

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XOXOX

Stiffler

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 20, 2018

UpdateImage

Posted on June 20, 2018

Look. Who. It. Is.

We have a dog (this dog!!!) on reserve to be picked up and adopted next month! His name is Ace (which we're thinking about keeping), his parents have vetted temperaments and he has been described as very loving, intelligent, calm, and adventurous. Now comes... eeeeeeverything else! 

We're just starting on this journey and there will be so much training, baby-proofing, supply-buying and certifying to do. Thank you, everyone, for helping us this far and we hope you'll stick around to see more updates! We can't believe it's all coming together and we're so excited for the future!


Posted on May 27, 2018

Posted on May 27, 2018

Goal Adjusted!

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Hi, everyone!

I wanted to update you all that I've gotten a chance to do some more local research, reached out to a few organizations/trainers, and have updated our fundraiser to reflect a more realistic cost for adopting and training a service dog. That's why after achieving our first goal of $3,000 (again, holy crap, thank you for that!!!), the next goal is $10,000 overall.

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Where will the money go? About $3,000 will go towards the cost of adopting a young dog with a personality assessment, a clean health record, and the cost of transporting the dog to our city/home. $1,000 - 2,000 will go towards the initial costs of establishing a relationship with a local training program, including application costs, interviews, and potentially facilitating/overseeing the adoption process. $1,500 will be budgeted for initial vet costs, including spaying/neutering and vaccinations, and various pet supplies/food. And a whopping $5,000 - $15,000 will go towards the actual training of our service dog, which includes intensive training, potential boarding during service dog "boot camp," and home visits to learn individualized skills for K's needs. 

As you can see, that puts our budget at between $10,500 - $21,500 depending on the service training program we work with, where we adopt our dog from and the services they provide, and the incidental costs that come with any new dog. I'm budgeting for the conservative end of those costs and hope to absorb any excess costs we can't make up in time through payments or other means of deferment, as some programs are more flexible than others.

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So, that's the nitty gritty! Thank you so, SO much for all of your help and caring. The fact that we're able to make plans and work on this life-changing assistance for K has been a joy for us both. I can't wait to share more progress with you soon, and I really can't wait until the day comes that we're sharing photos with you!

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Happy Weekend!

XOXOX
Stiffler


Posted on May 20, 2018

Posted on May 20, 2018

We met our initial goal already! Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone for your support and for sharing our fundraiser. Our $3,000 goal will be going towards the initial costs of interviews/matching, adoption, vet bills, and transportation. We still need to arrange for a training program/trainer, certification, and a bit of red tape, but we're finally able to take real steps towards Ks future service dog!

While we may adjust the overall goal to reflect training costs once we have a program matched, we are getting started buying all of the needed dog supplies we can before introducing one into our home. We're keeping a shopping list open on Amazon, but if there's anything you think we've missed or need, feel free to drop a line! Better to be over-prepared than under, haha. 

I'm so excited that we get to plan for this stage in our lives and I'm looking forward to seeing K with her best friend. This has meant so much to us both and we're feeling a lot more optimistic today. Thank you again for giving us such a wonderful gift of hope.

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