Until There’s A Cure… There’s A Dog - this is the SDWR motto.
With hundreds of lives changed and over a decade of dedicated work, SDWR is a leader service dog organization. We believe that through the customized training of our service dogs, the lives of those with invisible disabilities can be improved. At SDWR, our service dogs include Diabetic Alert Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and PTSD Service Dogs. We promote a high level of interaction between the dog, the recipient family and our training staff to create an environment of success. Unlike other service dog programs, SDWR takes the next step in providing a commitment between a service dog and the recipient.
Your contribution goes to the placement and growth of more life-saving service dogs.
Raising and training service dogs is quite an expense to our organization, it costs SDWR a lot of money. In return we ask our clients to enroll as volunteer ambassadors to help further our mission by raising awareness, advocacy, education and funds for the organization and for our community at large. To do good work to families like yours at no cost, we need all our ambassadors to raise funds, awareness, and education. One team, one voice, one mission, one heart, one goal!
At just ten months old, our baby boy was in and out of the hospital with many different symptoms and odd behaviors. He went to three different hospitals until he was eventually diagnosed with type one diabetes and in ketoacidosis. Harrison was the youngest ever recorded type one diabetic in the state of CT. Due to this, his hospital stay was longer, the treatment was more complex, and we often found that the doctors could only guess as what steps to follow. He was able to come home but we were faced with up to 10 insulin injections a day due to still being partially bottle fed and in the first steps of trying solid foods. Every day was and still is a roller coaster of sleepless nights and calls to the emergency on call doctors. We have traveled as far as Boston to the Joslin Diabetes Center to get various opinions about his condition. Why was he diagnosed so young? How is he a type one diabetic with no family history of diabetes? These questions could never be answered for us. After about four months, Harrison was able to get the Dexcom G6 (CGM). This is a device that is inserted under the skin and tells us Harrison’s blood sugar every five minutes. This was a great stress relief on both him and my husband and I. Although it is not easy to keep a patch on a mobile baby, we did what we could to make it work. About two months later, he was given the opportunity to start and insulin pump and he now has the Omnipod Dash system. This eliminated the need for injections and was another great asset to our family in which we are eternally grateful for. Harrison is constantly growing, eating new foods, becoming more active, and building his little immune system that even with the CGM and insulin pump, constant communication with the doctors is necessary to keep on top of updating his insulin doses. My husband and I want nothing more than to give Harrison the ability to be all he can be and get involved in everything he desires. Harrison loves to swim, shows interest in gymnastics, and even the early stages of soccer. If we had a diabetes alert dog, we would feel extremely more comfortable with Harrison getting involved in these opportunities. The technology is great (most of the time) but it becomes difficult to keep his devices within range, and the technology does have its complications and can be incorrect at times. Harrison has been around other family members dogs and we truly see a side of him that is incredible. He is kind, gentle, loving and nurturing around them. Dog was even one of his first words!
We would love to grow our family and give Harrison the ability to gain this resource and companion. Before we know it, Harrison will be going off to school, spending time at friend’s houses, having overnights with his family and becoming more independent, and it would be the greatest blessing to have a diabetes alert dog by his side throughout his journey as a type one diabetic.Paying it forward is an idea that this world does not do enough of. Our family gives back each and every day. My husband has been a volunteer fireman for over ten years and never thinks twice about risking his life to help others. I have worked for a non-profit organization for over 6 years giving back to individuals that are in the DCF, DDS, and DHMAS services that have faced trauma, been diagnosed with mental health and intellectual disorders. Due to the cost of Harrison’s medical supplies, and expecting a new baby, we are unfortunately not able to provide Harrison with a diabetes alert dog on our own. Any money fundraised would help our family in the cost of a service dog. A diabetes alert dog would improve the life of my entire family as well as the people around us because the life of having a one year old boy with T1D is not your typical day. There are many things that you have to overcome and deal with that would only become easier with a companion such as a diabetes alert dog. A dog was always in our plans as a growing family, but when we were blessed with the knowledge that there was service dog known as a diabetes alert dog, there was no getting our minds off of this until we made it happen for our son. Thank you for listening to our story and if you are able, we hope you contribute to our campaign.