A Life Saving Diabetic Alert Dog for Amara

For: Amara Wilson
Organizer: Melissa Wilson
of $10,000 goal
62% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Hi, I am Amara Wilson and I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 2 1/2 years old. My blood sugars sometime get dangerously low and high. At night it is even more important that I stay in a safe range so I rely on my parents to monitor me. As I get older I am finding that my independence is becoming more and more important. I will be driving soon and then before I know it, I will be off to college! If I had a Diabetic Alert Dog by my side at all times I would not have to worry anymore. My dog will alert me before I go too low or too high! This will keep me safe and much healthier. Thank you for helping me reach my goal, and my dream of having a live saving service dog!

According to the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells — called beta cells — are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.

For this reason, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.

To learn more about Type 1 Diabetes go to http://jdrf.org
To learn more about diabetic alert dogs go to diabeticalertdog.com

Thanks so much to all of you for your support!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 5, 2014 by Melissa Wilson
Two week count down for Teddy's arrival. Ed says he is on track and will come to Idyllwild for delivery on Thursday, the 16th!

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
UGH Diabetes sucks! Amara's pump tube was bent in half and not delivering any insulin to her for several hours. Her blood sugars need to be between 70-120 and she is over 600 and now finally coming down slightly after 2.5 hours. Poor kid... she feels absolutely horrible. I can't imagine how this must feel. She is such a trooper and deals with all of this so well.

Her service dog would have alerted her before her numbers went this high. Count down to Teddy...Hopefully 5 weeks away.

Posted on November 14, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
Teddy is doing really well in his obedience training! He starts his training in picking up the low and high scents soon. Here is a link to show Teddy "shopping" at Target.

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
More questions answered:
It is so great that Teddy the standard poodle is working out so far. Amara was able to meet him today and loves him! If at any time Teddy cannot continue to succeed in his training then we have to start over with a new dog. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

What breeds of dogs do you choose to train?
There are several factors that go into choosing which dogs enter the Diabetic Alert Dogs of America program. They extensively evaluate the dogs based on different factors and not by breed alone.  They do not use “puppy mills” or pet stores to acquire their dogs. They use licensed breeders, and select private party donations. All of their new recruits are put through an extensive evaluation period before ever entering their training program.

How is a service dog treated as compared to a pet?
When the service dog is “working” they should have their full
attention on Amara. It is not ok for the service dog to be played with or pet unless Amara is there and gives the ok. These dogs are very happy doing the job they were trained for. They are well
exercised by constantly accompanying Amara wherever she goes. When Amara first receives her dog he or she will accompany her everywhere she goes for at least a full three months. After that
attachment period Amara can choose to occasionally go places on her own (like a school dance) and give her service dog a break. Service dogs can never be turned away from any public place. If Amara travels by plane her dog will sit at her feet, not in a kennel
or in the plane’s storage area.

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
Amara was able to meet Teddy today! He was coming back with his trainer Ed from Sea World. Teddy continues to do well and let's hope it keeps up because he is a really wonderful dog.

Posted on October 8, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
We met Teddy a pure bred standard poodle in Vegas. He is great! The way it works is ed the owner finds a match for our family needs. He had kept his eye out for a while and found Teddy. We met him and want to move forward with him. He could fail training at any time during the next three months so we can't get our hearts too set. We shall see but so far he seems great. So Amara could have her dog as early as jan or feb. This is 10 months sooner than we thought this would happen!!!

More questions answered:
How will the dog alert Amara?
Amara’s Diabetic Alert Dog will be trained to actively alert her
by simply “pawing” at her leg when her blood sugar is out of the target range. The dog will continue to “paw” and alert Amara until her blood sugar returns to a safe level. The dog will also be trained to alert Amara while she is sleeping by physically jumping up on Amara’s bed to wake her if her blood sugar levels are out of range
at night.

How will the service dog know Amara’s certain scent changes?
After the dog is chosen and trained for at least two months we
overnight scent samples (taken from Amara’s saliva) to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America (DADofAmerica). There will be at least eight different blood sugar level containers sent to DADofAmerica ranging from a blood sugar of less than 40 to a blood sugar of
greater than 250. When Amara meets her service dog for the first time that dog will already know who Amara is based on the scent training he/she has received!

Posted on October 2, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
Paige and I are going to celebrate her birthday with friends in Vegas this weekend!!! We also get to meet some diabetic alert dogs in training because the company is in Vegas. So excited to see it in action. Maybe our future dog will be one of the dogs he already owns. We shall see!

Posted on October 1, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
I talked to Ed, the owner of Diabetic Alert Dogs Of America, and told him to move forward in finding a wonderful dog for Amara. After finding the dog and the training we are hoping for placement around the first part of February. Amara is beyond excited! Thanks to you all for your support.

Posted on September 29, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
What an amazing event we had last night... with giving, wonderful friends! We were hoping for $1,500 and we received $5,540!!!!! This amount with the We Caring web site get's Amara her dog!!! Wow... waaaaaay earlier than we ever thought possible. Thank you to all!!!! xxxooo

I will keep you all posted on what happens next.

Posted on September 25, 2013 by Melissa Wilson
Hey there... the fundraiser is just a few days away and more great silent auction items just came in...
An outdoor photography session
Beautiful succulent arrangements
A 90 minute total detox treatment
A $1,750 corporate identity package!

So grateful!

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