Shayna's Hope - Service Dog Fund

For: Shayna P.
Norristown, PA
Organizer: Shayna P.
$4,845
of $5,000 goal.
Raised by 29 donors
96% Complete

The Story

I am raising money for a Service Dog due to my growing list of medical needs.

Hi, my name is Shayna!  I am 25 years old and have lived with a growing list of neurological conditions for the past decade. My disorders have made the thought of living independently an impossible dream as I rely on my brothers and parents for assistance daily. A service dog will enable me to go to college to earn a degree, be a more effective employee in the workplace, live alone, and be safe when a medical crisis occurs in public.

My growing list of medical concerns include symptoms ranging from uncontrollable spasms to weakness that leaves me stranded. I have been diagnosed with a spinal cord condition called Syringomyelia, Dystonia, Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, Syncope, Tourette Syndrome, and more. These rare disorders affect my ability to move, speak, eat, walk, type, and even my ability to push my own wheelchair.

My service dog will assist me with my "attacks" (sudden onset of symptoms), walking, getting help in an emergency, pulling my wheelchair, fetching my crutches, carrying emergency medication, providing deep pressure therapy to alleviate tics and tachycardia, picking up items, and even a simple thing such as turning off the light when I'm bed-bound so that I don't have to sleep all night with the light on.

All of these tasks will help me depend less on my family to help me and enable me to do things on my own. I can be more confident knowing that when I'm alone there will always be help nearby in the form of four paws. My doctor and neurologist support this and look forward to seeing the changes a service dog will make in my life.

My service dog is being trained by Phoenix Assistance Dogs of Central PA. It costs the organization approximately $20,000 to train a service dog. My responsibility to them is $1,000 but my financial responsibility to my fantastic four legged service dog will not end there.

Due to continued costs including gear, veterinary care, and food, I will be fundraising additional money for these continued concerns. Please open your heart to help and share my story.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 30, 2016

Posted on March 30, 2016

I need to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your incredible financial support this past Christmas and winter.  I can't believe how close we are to the original goal!  It was an emotional whirlwind to become the #YouCaringGives recipient and be able to spotlight attention on the need and financial cost of service dogs to the entire world.


As you may have noticed, I've taken a big step back from fundraising these past few months.  As the date for Meet the Dogs approached in February, I made the conscious decision to step back from fundraising until I had an actual match- a name, a service dog for me.  Upon receiving news of my match and who my service dog was to be, I began planning specific fundraisers using that dog as the focus.  Unfortunately, a week later, I received a call that my service dog had been released from the program for veterinary reasons and, more recently, adopted out to a very loving family.


The emotions from this bad news took an enormous toll on me.  I watched fervently as this litter of puppies grew and prayed daily for their futures- I was engaged in their life stories from the moment they were born nearly two years ago.  Knowing that 2 years of waiting had to be started over again was a huge blow.  But, it happens.  That's service dog world- only the best make it to graduation.  It happens and it stinks.  (By the way, those prayers did not go to waste!  I'm only disappointed that my fantastic four legged will not be one of them.  Each dog is living an incredible life with their families and/or trainers.)

I am actively seeking solutions for my dog-less situation.  These solutions involve staying on the Phoenix Assistance Dog waiting list, seeking a dog on my own to possibly put through an owner training program (I have trainers across America looking at potential dogs for me from breeders and from rescues), or even considering another avenue.  Unfortunately, switching programs wouldn't be the best option as the waiting lists elsewhere can be as long as 4-5 years and I'd be starting at the bottom of their lists (versus being at the top of PAD's list).  Phoenix Assistance Dogs has recently had an influx of new dog candidates and some may be ready for graduation within the next year.  It all depends on training, health, readiness, and willingness to work.

I truly appreciate the patience and support that my followers have shown. Depending on how I choose to proceed on this service dog journey, our fundraising goal may have to increase. Service dog solutions outside of PAD will come at a significant cost compared to the original fundraising plan. No final decisions have been made but all possible options are being actively considered.  Any active updates can be found using the ?#‎ShaynasHope?hashtag on Facebook or the #ShaynasHopehashtag on Instagram.

I could not have made it through these past few months without the continued emotional support of my friends. All continued support is so very much appreciated in the coming months as hard decisions are made concerning my future.

Thank you all so much for being such incredibly kind human beings and lending your brains, hearts, and observations during this difficult time. You know who you are and just know that you're one of the many miracle workers on this journey for ?#‎ShaynasHope?.


Posted on December 15, 2015

Posted on December 15, 2015

Words cannot express the awe I am in at this very moment.  Shayna's Hope became the recipient today of a #YouCaringGives donation that has put this fundraiser far past its December goal.  Looking through the stories of every recipient causes one to pause and be thankful for everything one has.  Every recipient of #YouCaringGives has a cause that is so unique and different from any other recipient.  What makes each the same, though, is that each has a story.  Every photo, every update, every donation is tied to a story that contributes to the journey of each life associated with that cause.  To have my own story shared and become a part of these other incredible stories creates this beautiful patchwork of people.  If you haven't witnessed this patchwork yourself, please do so by visiting the homepage of YouCaring.comand take some time to visit each one.  Thank you, YouCaring and #YouCaringGives for selecting #ShaynasHope as a member of your beautiful patchwork "quilt" this holiday season.

Posted on December 14, 2015

Posted on December 14, 2015

So much has happened in just 14 days that I haven't had time to process it.
On Giving Tuesday, Shayna's Hope participated in a special event dubbed as "Double Donations Day". We raised a total of $140 in just 24 hours with that event- such an incredible win! The outpouring of support was so encouraging and we raised a third of our December goal on just the first day of the month. More donations have poured in since. Many will not be reflected on the meter until checks are cut and processed- but how exciting it is to wait and see it jump so far!
I recently had the opportunity to work with PAD Terp, a golden retriever, in order to practice using a leash in coordination with my crutches, walker, and wheelchair. This allowed me to try new leashes and new techniques to make handling a dog safer for my body while using medical equipment. The last time I had attempted this, I fell off balance multiple times! This time was a better success with a hands-free leash that used the strongest part of my body (the torso) instead of my vulnerable center of balance (my hands). The visit was a great success and he loved the attention. Many thanks to his handler for letting me "borrow" him!
Please also know that #YouCaringGives is currently in the selection process to give $500 to four fundraisers every Tuesday in December. If you would like to see #ShaynasHope become eligible to receive this donation, please daily share http://YouCaring.com/shaynashope-servicedog#YouCaringGives publicly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram bios, and any other platform you prefer online. So far we have gotten 30+ shares registered. More are needed!
It's a free way that supporters can help. Donating your social media space is as valuable as donating a dollar.

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