We are thrilled to announce that Sam’s application for a service dog has been accepted.
As many of you know, Sam has lipomyelomeningocele, which is associated with spina bifida. Sam was born with a mass surrounding his spinal cord. He has motor and sensory deficits related to multiple spinal cord surgeries and tethered cord syndrome. Additionally, Sam has been diagnosed with ADHD and an anxiety disorder.
Sam has proven to be strong, resilient, and optimistic despite the numerous obstacles he’s faced throughout his life. He is kind and funny, enjoys swimming for the Bennett Blazers’ physically challenged sports program, traveling, karaoke, brainstorming inventions, and creating websites. When we asked Sam why he would like a service dog he answered, “Because he would by my best friend and make me even stronger!”
Ben and I have known for years that when the time was right, we would start this process. After a great deal of research we felt that working with the nonprofit organization, 4 Paws for Ability, best fit Sam’s needs. We have been selected to receive a multi-purpose service dog that will be trained to assist Sam from a mobility standpoint, such as with balance, retrieving items, assistance in public, as well as recognizing Sam’s emotional needs due to anxiety, distraction from pain, etc. We are confident this will improve Sam’s quality of life. On average, it costs $40-$60,000 to raise, train, and place one service dog. Our family has been tasked with raising $23,000.
While this can feel overwhelming, we are optimistic and hopeful that we can raise these funds, with the help of our friends and family. Any donation is greatly appreciated and we can’t wait to share this journey with you.