Hello and thank you for reading Douglas’ story. Douglas is a sweet and loving 8 year old boy who loves music, family, Cookie Monster, and dogs. Douglas has a rare microdeletion on his 8th chromosome – so rare in fact, that he is one of a kind. But just as with all parents, we know all kiddos are one of a kind in their own way.
For Douglas, this means that he has had to fight since he took his first breath because he was born in congestive heart failure. Douglas fights with hypotonia, a condition that causes a lack of muscle memory. Because of his hypotinia, Douglas lacks gross and fine motor skills, and the ability to speak. He started walking independently when he was 4 years old but still remains unbalanced and every step requires focus.
One of Douglas’ challenges is with Sensory Processing Disorder, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, that makes him hyper aware of all things sensory: doctors offices, hospitals, noise, crowds, all new environments. Sensory overload for him causes meltdowns, frustration, anxiety, and tears.
At 4 years old, Douglas had his first seizure and was diagnosed with Epilepsy. A year later, he was diagnosed with Epileptic Encephalopathy. The majority of Douglas’ seizures occur while he is sleeping, keeping us on watch at all times during the night so that rescue medication can be given and we can keep him safe.
We are trying to raise funds for a service dog for Douglas to help support him in so many ways. His service dog will:
- Alert to seizures (especially while he is sleeping at night).
- Provide balance assistance for Douglas while he is walking.
- Provide comfort and deep pressure by lying across his lap when he gets upset or overwhelmed.
- Prevent wandering while out in public by being tethered to Douglas.
- Scent track to provide an extra layer of security for Douglas should he ever wander off.
- Assist in easing transitions.
- Help Douglas participate in family and community events by providing Douglas one-on-one support.
- Encourage communication and friendship by being a social bridge.
How You Can Help?
It costs 4 Paws between $40,000-$60,000 to raise, train, and place a service dog. Our family has to raise $17,000 of that to pay for his service dog.
Donations by check in support of Douglas should be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability – be sure to write Douglas’ name on the memo line. Mail checks to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Douglas Chiles
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.
If you wish to make an online donation directly through the 4 Paws For Ability website, the address is: https://4pawsforability.org/donate-now/ Be sure to include Douglas’ name in the memo line so that the amount is credited to his account!
If you would prefer to make a credit card payment over the phone, please call 4 Paws For Ability at 973-374-0385.
Please join “DC III’s Service Dog Warriors” and give Douglas a best friend that will change his life and give him the independence he deserves!