Saturday, May 19, 2012

A D.A.D. for Emily

My mind has been so busy this week!
Emily went through her first stomach virus this week.
In case you don't know, stomach viruses in type 1 diabetics are very bad.  You see, in order to stay healthy (ok, alive really) a T1D needs to eat.  When you have a stomach virus, and are throwing up, it is impossible to get fuel into your body.  I spent two solid days on and off the phone with the pediatrician and endocrinologist, trying to decide if things had progressed bad enough to go to the ER for an IV with glucose fluid.  Thankfully, we were able to avoid that trip.  It sure was scary though.  She was pretty sick.  We didn't sleep much because we were awake checking her blood glucose levels.  I don't know how many times we said, 'I can't wait for her D.A.D. because then we would get some sleep' 
In case you missed my last post, I said that we had decided to start the journey of getting her a D.A.D...Diabetes Alert Dog.  D.A.Ds have been used for about 9 years and are showing they can do amazing things.  D.A.Ds are able to alert you to a high glucose level, or a low one 30-40 minutes before it shows up on a meter.  They can smell when your blood is changing.  Their noses are so sensitive, that people are reporting their D.A.D. can smell their person up to a mile away.  Kids are going outside to play, safely, because their D.A.D. is inside with mom, alerting her of any blood sugar issues.  Emily is unable to feel her lows, or her highs for that matter.  Type 1 Diabetics can have plummeting blood sugars, very quickly, which is very dangerous.  Too low of a blood sugar can result in seizures, coma, and even death.  Too high of sugars result in eye issues, hearing loss, heart problems, kidney problems, neuropathy, amputations..the list goes on and on.
Another, very real, and very scary issue is a relatively new syndrome called dead in bed syndrome.  For some reason, kids are having a harder time feeling their lows in the night, and more and more kids are dying in the night because of low levels.  Scientists are unsure why this is happening more often than it used to.  Parents didn't ever used to check their children's sugar levels at night, but now they are recommending checks at midnight and 3 am.  We know there is great value to this, as we have had to wake Emily up at midnight or 3 for juice because her levels are way too low.
As a family, we prayed and decided we wanted to give Emily the best chance at a long, healthy life.  We'd love to avoid as many hospital stays as possible.  We'd love to never see her in DKA.  We'd love to never, ever have to lose her to dead in bed syndrome.
These dogs are expensive.  But how do you put a price on the life of a child?  You don't.
So where do we stand?  We are on the waiting list, and should get Emily's D.A.D in January.  We have put $1k down and have raised a small amount more, just by spreading the word.  These dogs run $ we have a long way to go, but I have faith that we will raise the money.
We are working through a non profit, which makes things easier, because every donation made is tax deductible, and they are able to take stock transfers.  We are going through Guardian Angel Service Dogs, Inc...this is the only group who is approved by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and their track record is impeccable.  We could have gone with someone less qualified and paid a bit less, but not when my daughter's life is at risk.
This is where you come in.  Would you consider making that tax deductible donation?   Would you share our facebook page to help spread awareness?  It can be found at Most importantly, would you please pray for us and our endeavors? 
To make a donation, you can visit and pay by credit card.  After you make your payment, you will receive an email asking whose fund to credit, you would let them know Emily Williams.  This is a personal email that is not automatically generated, so may take some time, but it will come!  You can also pay by check, sent directly to the non profit, made out to GASD, with Emily Williams in the memo.  You can mail them to Diabetic Alert Dogs by Warren Retrievers, P.O. Box 910, Orange, VA 22960
Thank you so much for your help.
Isn't she beautiful?
Orange, VA 22960

1 comment:

Tina said...

I will definitely keep Emily in my prayers. My nephew was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 7. He is 15 now and in the 10th grade. He wears a pump. I know how serious this is and how important it is for Type 1 children to take care of themselves. The dog sounds like a wonderful idea and I sure hope you meet the financial goal for Emily to get her "friend"!

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