Sierra Hartung has had seizures since she was a baby but during a recent hospitalization it was discovered that she is having the most abnormal brain activity while she sleeps which is very dangerous because she could accidently suffocate herself. Her healthcare team at Children's suggested a Service Dog to sleep with her. The dog would be trained in seizure recognition, help Sierra to a safe position, and get help for her.
Because Sierra is only 12 years old she does not qualify for any of the Service Dog programs in Minnesota. We have written to every program in MN and all surrounding states with no luck. We moved on to the National database and a program in Ohio has agreed to work with her, however, their requirements include an $18,000 fee plus we would have to go there for 2 weeks for training so there will be time lost from work and travel fees.
I (mom) cut back my hours at work to half time about a year ago so that I would be able to care for Sierra's ongoing healthcare needs (Sierra has several other health issues) and our family doesn't have the money to pay for Sierra's Service Dog.
Training for the dog will not start until all of the money is raised and the training will take at least a year. Along with the training to identify seizures the dog will also need to be trained as a hearing dog, Sierra was also born deaf. There is a year long waiting list so the sooner we can get all the fees paid, the sooner we can get Sierra back to sleeping in her own bed! Right now Sierra sleeps with me so that I can wake up with Sierra if she has a seizure to keep her safe.
We hope our family, friends, and community members will rally with us to keep Sierra safe!! Please join us for supper and a silent auction to raise money for Sierra's Service Dog!!