Help Michelle Heins get a life-saving Cardiac Alert Dog

For: Michelle Heins
Peoria, IL
Organizer: Michelle Heins
Help Michelle Heins get a life-saving Cardiac Alert Dog (Michelle Heins)
of $7,000 goal
3% Complete
Raised by 5 donors

The Story

Hi folks, in case you don't know me, my name is Michelle Heins.  I'm a mother and a wife and before becoming ill I was a nurse trying to further my education to become a Nurse Midwife.  Life and my dream of a career has been put on hold for me for many reasons, most of which are health related.  The most recent, and most scary developement in my health troubles is that my Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) has been getting worse.  It has finally gotten to the point that I was in the hospital and needed medications to get my heart back to its normal, if weakened, function.

While in the hospital, I related to my nurse the story of my friend's young dog being incredibly attentive toward me during a "heart episode" (how I refer to moments when I can feel my heart doing what it shouldn't).  She mentioned that there are a type of Service Dogs called Cardiac Alert Dogs and suggested that me having one would probably be very beneficial to my future health.

I've done some research and have discovered that there are many ways in which a Cardiac Alert Dog can assist their hander.  Just a few of the ways a Cardiac Alert Dog might be able to help improve my quality of life are:

  • Inform me of when my heart is not functioning correctly so that I know to take my medicine.
  • Inform loved ones around me, if I am unable, that something has happened to me.
  • Bring objects or medications to me if I am unable to get them myself.  Including possibly live saving heart medications.
The current goal of $1000 is very low in the hopes that one of the dogs I currently have, or a friend's young dog that showed potential might be able to be trained as such a dog.  The money would go toward getting them evaluated, and then starting training if any of them qualify.  If none of them qualify then I am going to have to bump the goal up to account for getting a professional bred and trained dog instead.

Please, for the peace of mind that having a Cardiac Alert Dog would provide for myself and my family, if you are able to donate, do so.  If donating is not within your ability at this time, please just share my cause.  I don't want to miss out on life with my children, my wife, or many friends family if there is a way to prevent it.  Especially if having a dog to look out for me could be such a simple and helpful solution.

Deepest gratitude from me and my family!

Michelle Heins

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 21, 2018

Posted on May 21, 2018

Alright guys, I need to get real with you here for a minute. My heart problems are getting worse. Its getting a little scary over here. And while Winnie is trying her best, without more formal training (for specific tasks and my specific disabilities) she just can't do her job to her full potential. So, while I haven't done much with it after I initially set it up, I'm going to restart this fundraiser for Winnie's training with Compass Key (formerly called PAWS Training Centers).

As always, if you aren't able to donate then a share would be just as appreciated!  If you do share, please as your friends and family to do the same.  Any and all funds raised will go toward Winnie's training and any expenses associated with it (travel to and from the trainers, etc.)  You all know me and know that I hate asking for help but this is turning into a pretty intense, need versus just being something that is helpful, here I am: asking.

Thank you so much!

Posted on January 16, 2017


Posted on January 16, 2017

Hi guys!  I'm sorry I've been away so long!  I've mostly been playing the hurry up and wait game with the training organization.  But!  We finally have an evaluation date set!  It will be this Thursday at 1pm my time.  I'm a bit nervous, all the what-ifs are coming into play now, but I'm also incredibly excited to be moving forward.  

Also, a crucial piece of documentation is now in my hot little hands.  My primary care doc is a true Blessing in my life, and she came through again by writing up the Letter of Medical Necessity needed by the training organization and my landlord as proof that I actually need a service dog (Forgive the blurry picture, my cell phone's front camera is a bit behind the times!).

Sorry for the short little blurb today, but that's really all I've got to share today.  I'm sure I will have more on Thursday after the eval!

Thank you again, wonderful friends!  Please keep sharing this fundraiser, and also my Facebook page that goes with it!  Search on Facebook: @heartdog4michelle and you should be able to find me!


Posted on January 4, 2017

Posted on January 4, 2017

Okie dokie, we're taking the plunge!  The goal has been bumped from $1000 to $7000 because we have found a program that we really want to work with and that is the lowest estimated cost for training (including the evaluation fees which you wonderful people have already covered!).

Since we have made the choice, I have sent in the request to have the pups evaluated and we are officially moving forward!  As I learn more details on when the eval will be and what the next steps are, I will certainly keep you in the loop.  After all, without your support this wouldn't be happening at all.

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart!

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