Make a Dream Come True!

Every day, families around the country are raising money so their children with disabilities can receive service dogs to improve their lives. You can read some of the stories here of the children and their families working to reach their goals. Please help make a dream come true!

Bradley Becker


**MCHENRY, IL: March 3, 2021**: Five-year-old Bradley Becker loves big dogs and likes to snuggle with them. His family is working on adding one to their home, but it will be much more than a family pet. They are hoping for one trained specifically for his needs: a service dog to help Bradley with autism. ## More About Bradley Diagnosed at two years of age, Bradley is constantly at risk of running off. Mom, Amanda, explains, “We had an instance when Bradley bolted out of our house when one of his therapists opened the door to leave. We had to run after him in the middle of the street. I now have a fear that every time someone opens the door that he is going to bolt. This dog will be lifesaving for him because the dog will be trained to track and find him should he escape.” The service dog will also be used to help ease his problems with transitions, temper tantrums, meltdowns, and head banging. ##What the Service Dog Will Do Here are the tasks Bradley’s dog will be specifically ...

Sydney Frace


Hello, I want to introduce my 11 year old daughter Sydney. Sydney is a super smart and funny 6th grader. She loves anime, video games, swimming, family and her 2 cats. Sydney’s journey has not always been easy but you would never know looking at her that she has a form of epilepsy. Sydney has always had some issues with muscle tone and balance when growing up but we did not think much of it. She then was diagnosed with ADHD at 9 years old. Fast forward to Jan 31st 2020...Sydney had her first seizure at home. We did not know what was going on and got to Children’s Hospital in Washington DC right away and saw an amazing pediatric neurologist, Dr. Difazio. After many tests and MRI,s Sydney was diagnosed with frontal cortical dysplasia (FCD), which is a form of epilepsy. It is a congenital abnormality where there is an abnormal organization of the layers of the brain and bizarre appearing neurons. FCD can be drug resistant and in some children may require brain surgery fo...

Tinsley Mae Kimbrel


Tinsley has been partnered with 4 Paws for Ability to get a service dog! This soon to be best friend for Tinsley will be such a great addition for her as she learns and grows to help her with all sorts of things. We are looking forward to it helping her with different daily tasks some as simple as navigating curbs, to stairs and other elevation changes, it will also help by giving her some extra stability and independence when she is out and about walking or when she needs help up from laying or sitting on the floor back up to standing. Not only will this doggo be able to help her with her mobility it will also be able to accompany her to all of her doctor appointments, her weekly full day infusions at the hospital, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and any other surgeries or outings. This doggy full be a great social bridge for Tinsley out in the world navigating her rare, progressive disease in public. Tinsley was diagnosed at 15 months with a rare and progressive metabolic...

Cameron Stowe


Cameron is a typical 13 year old boy who loves to play video games and ride his bike. He also loves to play with his cars and trucks, and go swimming. However, things were never very easy for Cameron from the very beginning. When he was born, his stomach was not attached to his esophagus and he was flown to another hospital to have a 7 hour surgery, where they gave him a 50/50 chance to live. However, our little survivor pulled through. That was the first challenge in his life, and since then he has many others to deal with. Cameron was diagnosed with autism, an intellectual disability, and most recently, epilepsy. Cameron has always struggled with anxiety and has repetitive behaviors, but ever since the seizures have started his behaviors have changed. He now has a lot of meltdowns and becomes more confrontational. He seems much more distressed and not at peace many times. It makes us very sad to see our sweet little boy this way. Cameron is very excited that he has been accep...

Ezra Santos


Ezra Santos is a sweet, happy, energetic 4-year-old who has an extremely rare genetic condition that is causing him to lose all his abilities. Ezra is expected to be completely wheelchair bound, unable to speak, eat, and control any of his movements within the next few years. He has seizures that will likely become harder to control and his respiratory health will decline. A service dog will have a huge impact on Ezra’s quality of life. We are so thankful that 4 Paws for Ability has approved him to receive a dog.

Deklan Gerred


Mount Pleasant, MI – Deklan Gerred is a six-year-old with autism. His parents, Brianna and Wade, say he is such an adventurous, colorful, excitable, daring, compassionate, and sweet little man, with a knack for living on the wild side. While living on the wild side may sound cute, it is especially dangerous as Deklan is predominantly non-verbal. He has recently started to elope from home. His family has taken all the preventive safety measures they can but would like a helping hand - or paw - to keep Deklan safe.

Martin Hulsey


Martin is a precious, loving and energetic 4-year-old who is fiercely curious about the world around him. At the age of 2, He was diagnosed with nonverbal autism. Martin struggles with communicating his needs and desires, socialization, and stemming behavior which includes an ever present risk of elopement and escape. Although there is no cure for autism, with a service dog, barriers are minimized and Martin is given another tool to better manage his autism and live his best life. We are thrilled to announce Martin has been approved to receive an autism service dog through 4 Paws for Ability. 4 Paws Autism Assistance Dogs will be trained in a variety of tasks to assist Martin. These include behavior disruption to distract and disrupt repetitive behaviors or meltdowns, tethering to prevent and protect Martin from wandering, and search and rescue tracking to locate Martin if he has wandered. An Autism Assistance Dog would benefit Martin in many ways, such as: * Performing deep p...

Avery Brothers


Avery is an amazing, smart, and playful 4-year-old who is filled with joy. He was diagnosed with Nonverbal Autism and major sensory food aversions when he was just over 2 years old. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. There is no cure for Autism, however, there are a number of interventions and tools which have proven effective in helping a person with Autism. One tool can be an Autism Service Dog, which we feel is perfect for Avery based on his love for dogs. After extensive research and consideration, we decided to start the process of getting him an Autism Service Dog through 4 Paws for Ability. 4 Paws Autism Assistance Dogs can be trained in a variety of tasks to assist a child. These include behavior disruption to distract and disrupt repetitive behaviors or meltdowns, tethering to prevent and protect a child from wandering, and search and rescue tracking to locate a child who...

Bria Chapman


Bria Kate is our sweet, spunky, and feisty 19 month old daughter. Bria has a rare genetic disorder called Syngap1-related disorder. Due to this, sweet Bria battles every day with hypotonia, seizures, global developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, and vision impairment. Syngap1-related disorder often presents with autism as well and while she is too young to be diagnosed at this time, it may be in her future. She is mostly nonverbal which makes communication extremely frustrating for her. We are trying to raise funds to provide sweet Bria with a service dog. Bria absolutely loves animals. Her face lights up with joy whenever she is around them. This service dog would open up a whole new world for our girl. Bria’s hypotonia means her muscles are floppy and she tires very quickly. The dog would be trained in mobility to support her while walking, going up and down stairs, and pick up items she drops. Bria can get very frustrated and overwhelmed at times. This can lead to melt...

Daniel Thornton


Daniel is our funny and sweet loving 9-year-old son. He was diagnosed with Level 2 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and moderate to severe Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) at age 5. Daniel struggles to regulate himself emotionally, wanders easily, and has difficulty making friends and fitting in as most kids with ASD face. This not only interferes with his social life at school, but can affect as a family where we go, who we see, and the types of activities we take part in. My husband, Daniel's dad, travels for a living and being by myself can limit us due to having 2 boys versus 1 mom on outings! Daniel has been approved for an Autism Assistance Service Dog from 4 Paws For Ability! This is where we need your help. We have been working toward getting to this point for 2 years. As some of you know Daniel used to be absolutely terrified of animals. Thank goodness he is finally ready!!! These dogs are incredible in every way. We feel it will not only enhance Daniel's ...

Amelia Kilby


Hi! We are the Kilby Family, and we would love to introduce the sweet little monkey we call our daughter, Amelia. Amelia, or Amy for short, is the sweetest two-year-old that we know! She is full of smiles when she’s in the right mood, loves the tickle monster, and adores anything made of yarn. Amy has also been diagnosed with autism, global development delay, pervasive sensory disorder, and speech delay. For anyone not familiar with what autism, or ASD, is, it is a sensory processing disorder that presents a lot of challenges with social skills, repetitive behavior, speech and non-verbal communication. Autism comes in a wide variety of variations and levels, with 1 being the most “high functioning” and 3 being the most “low functioning”. Amy is considered a level 3 on the autism spectrum. Amelia’s language delay means that she is completely non-verbal; she doesn’t use sign language nor does she grunt or point to get what she wants or needs. Recently, we submitted an application...

Alexijane "AJ" Oliveira-Golden


My child’s full name is Alexijanae Kanani Oliveira-Golden. She had medical issues at birth. She is suffering from a rare disorder called Schizencephaly. Texas Children’s Hospital diagnosed her with Dyskinetic quadropalegic cerebral palsy in 2008. She has clefts in the hemisphere surface. It’s a disorder that takes place in normal neuron migration during the second trimester. At this time, primitive neuron precursors migrate from just beneath the Ventricular ependyma to the peripheral hemispheres where they form the cortical grey matter, causing quadriparesis. Alexijanae also has microgyria on her brain, which they say is attributed to a genetic defect. She doesn’t walk, doesn’t have good arm reach, and is hard to understand; however she is very smart and cognitive. Her limbs and tongue muscle are her main issues. She needs a service dog more than anyone I know. We face challenges every day. She wants independence, freedom, she wants to dance and be in gymnastics, she wants to...

Christian Alford


We would like for you to meet our son Christian. He is our pride and joy!! Christian was born January 16, 2013, a seemingly healthy boy. Between 12 months and 24 months of age, we noticed he did not talk as much as other children his age or play with other children in his class. He also made a humming noise most of the time. When he was 2 years old, we took him for his 24 month checkup and the doctor told us what we were already thinking. He wanted to have him further tested for Autism. In December of 2015 it was confirmed and our sweet Christian was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Speech and Language Disorder and Delayed Developmental milestones. He is now 3-1/2 years old and communicates some, but many of his words are hard to understand unless you are around him all the time and just know what he is trying to say. He does not handle large groups of people well and does not handle being in new places or disruptions to his normal daily routine. He gets frustrated ...

Gavyn Cook


Hello and thank you for reading my son’s story. Please let me introduce you to my 9-year-old son Gavyn. He is a very sweet boy who loves animals, playing video games, listening to music and helping others. He has suffered from abandonment issues, emotional abuse and neglect that lead us to seeking help and guidance for my son. After a year and a half of therapy, neuropsychological and other exams, we learned that my son suffers from Generalized Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and potentially PTSD. This helps explain why he has been developmentally behind, had meltdowns, focus issues, impulse control issues and issues forming relationships with other people, including his peers. Based on the determinations from doctors and talking to others who have the same issues, we were told about applying to 4 Paws for Ability for a service dog, as they thought it might be beneficial to Gavyn to help with some of the life challenges. Therefore, I applied to 4 Paws for Ability and completed the appli...

Liam Espina


Paws 4 Liam is devoted to providing Liam with a service dog specially trained to help a special little boy with autism. Liam is a 6- year-old boy from Glenview, IL who needs the help of a service dog to help him navigate the difficulties of autism. We have connected with Paws 4 Ability, who will be training Liam’s new pal to help him with communication, mobility, and for Liam’s safety to ensure he stays close. When Liam was born, he was already melting hearts, with his intense gazes and infectious laughter. Before Liam was 1, he began physical therapy due to his inability to turn himself over or crawl. By 17 months, we started to suspect something wasn’t quite right. Liam was not walking, and he was communicating by sounds alone. Liam initially was diagnosed with early developmental delay and began both Speech and OT Therapy. By age three, his verbal communication had not improved, and his anxiety levels began to increase. He would get frustrated and he could not express himself or ...

Luca DePento


Luca is a bright and beautiful eight-year-old boy. He is very friendly, open, and loves to be of help. He delights being in the outdoors and using his limited verbal communication skills to play with other children in the community. He loves to look at his books in his room. He loves nature and is more comfortable outdoors than anywhere else. **The Autism Spectrum Diagnosis** Luca was diagnosed with Mild to Moderate Autism in 2012. Mom, Kathleen, explains: “This has caused a total change to our family and we are educating our family members to the best of our ability. Luca struggles to cope with the world around him and the turmoil inside. His motor planning disorder means that he is often unable to verbally express the thoughts in his head.” Luca is enrolled in speech and occupational therapy, which are helping, but he really struggles with some sensations he encounters from the minute he awakens. Everything from wearing appropriate clothing and brushing his teeth, to the sounds ...

Lucas Sumpter


We are trying to raise money for a service dog for our sweet boy, Lucas! At the age of 2, Lucas was diagnosed with Autism and Speech Apraxia. More recently, he received a diagnosis for anxiety, depression, and a sleep disorder. It has had a profound effect on our family’s day to day life. Because of this, we have chosen to pursue a service dog to help make life a more manageable for all of us. As a baby, Lucas was quiet and content to just lay there. As a first-time mom, I didn’t think anything beyond him being an “easy” baby. The one consistent issue was that he choked whenever he would try to eat or drink. After being hospitalized with pneumonia at 18 months, a swallow study was recommended. The various studies resulted in intensive speech/occupational therapy. Despite the intensive therapy schedule, we saw little to no progress on his development milestones. When therapy yielded no real results, our pediatrician referred us to a neurologist. A two hour evaluation finally ga...

Norah Bailey


This is our beautiful 5-year-old angel, Norah Bailey. Norah was born on July 12, 2014 and suffered a massive stroke around the time of her birth. The stroke damaged the entire left side of Norah’s brain causing partial paralysis of her right side, gross & fine motor difficulties as well as developmental delay. She began therapy at 5 months old and up until the age of three, saw multiple therapists 3 times a week. Shortly after Norah’s third birthday we began noticing some odd behavior that began as an unusual stare. The look soon evolved into a terrified stare accompanied by a strong burst of stiffness and labored breathing. We were terrified. The neurologist soon confirmed that Norah was indeed experiencing seizures – something that was not uncommon given the traumatic brain injury she suffered at birth. Norah battled with seizure control over the next two years as her episodes began to worsen. At one point she was having up to 12 per day and even experiencing seizures th...

Samuel Jenkins


We are trying to raise money for my son Samuel Jenkins to receive a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability. Those who know Sammy know he loves animals and that he struggles quite often. Samuel was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder along with Hypotonia, Sensory Integration Disorder, Language Delay, and Impaired Social Interaction. He is currently considered nonverbal. He can be an extremely anxious kid. We try our best to keep him happy and comfortable, but it can be difficult at times, especially with the lack of communication. We are most challenged when Sam is out of the home. Seeing the way Sam is with animals, I just know a service dog is the right choice. A service dog for Sam would be a means for further comfort and security along with companionship for both him and our family, in and out of our home. Sam tends to have meltdowns and/or stim loudly whenever he is overly anxious or frustrated from not being able to understand us or vice-versa. A service dog would be trained ...