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The bond between a service dog and a child

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Luciano with EAC Hacket

While managing insulin dependency is already challenging for adults, it is an even greater challenge for children. Parents struggle to find a balance between caring for their child's life-threatening illness and maintaining their family and work-life equilibrium. They constantly worry about their child's blood sugar levels and may need to closely monitor their every movement to prevent any rapid impact on their health. Allowing a diabetic child to engage in physical activity can be worrisome, as exercise is vital for their long-term well-being. EAC understands the difficulties faced by families managing this disease, which is why we provide Diabetic Alert Dogs a life-changing and life-saving partner. Having a living, breathing, and critically thinking partner by their side gives children and their family's confidence.

In 2023, Luciano was placed with EAC Hacket and his mother shares, "Having type 1 diabetes can be extremely exhausting, and taking care of a child with this disease is an incredibly challenging task. When Luciano was diagnosed at 4 years old, our family was overwhelmed with sadness and desperation. We desperately searched for answers, absorbed every bit of information in the hospital, and were determined to give our child the best life possible despite this disease.

There are many important aspects of type 1 diabetes that I wish people understood, but one that stands out to me is how judgment towards individuals with type 1 diabetes, or their parents, is unfair. Blaming someone for their condition is misguided and harmful. There is so much more to say about this topic, but for now, let's focus on Luciano's journey and how he found his confidence with the help of a service dog named Hacket.

EAC Hacket poses for a photo

After Luciano's first visit to the Pediatric endocrinologist, he learned about Diabetic Alert Dogs for children with type 1 diabetes. He immediately expressed his desire to have a dog, and I promised him that one day we would apply for it. At the age of 8, we finally submitted an application to Early Alert Canines (EAC). Despite the uncertainty, we were thrilled when we received the news that Luciano's application was approved, and they believed they had a dog for him. It was a true answered prayer.

Hacket has been an incredible blessing in Luciano's life. He no longer feels alone because of her presence. Her impact on his confidence and well-being cannot be overstated.

During the training period, we heard stories of dogs alerting their owners from different floors of their homes. We appreciated these stories, but never imagined experiencing it ourselves. However, one day at school, Hacket alerted me while Luciano was in the library. I couldn't believe it at first, but her instinct was correct. Luciano's blood sugar was dropping, and Hacket had sensed it. It was an unforgettable moment that showcased the true bond between a service dog and a child.

EAC Hacket poses for a photo

I firmly believe that without EAC and the generous donors, we would have never been able to fulfill Luciano's dream of having a service dog. Coming from a single-income household, the cost of some of the other service dog organizations that charge $40k-$50k for a service dog would have been impossible for us. The dedication and hard work that EAC puts into providing these miracles to children with type 1 diabetes is truly remarkable, admirable, and above all, a labor of love."

Thank you, Luciano and family!

To donate, click here.

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