It was 8pm Friday, October 24, 2008 when the Department of Child Services called, “We are in need of an emergency foster care placement for a medically fragile 8-week old infant for a few days. Your name was given as a potential placement. Can you help?” With a brief account of Izaac’s situation, medical condition and multiple diagnosis, we hung up the phone to await his arrival. Just hours later, they arrived at the door with Izaac, his IV poles, feeding tube and medical supplies, hospital discharge papers and a small sack of clothes, diapers and special formula. Izaac had been in Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital NICU for 6 weeks of his short 8 weeks of life. Among other things, Izaac was diagnosed with failure to thrive, encephalitis, meningitis, seizures and prenatal drug exposure.
Fast forward, Izaac was adopted into our family at age 3 and he will soon be turning 10. He has overcome much of the trauma experienced in his young life. However, he still suffers from the effects of in utero drug exposure. He has left temporal lobe brain damage, encephalopathy, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, intellectual disorder, speech/language disorder and more.
Izaac is unable to care for himself and is still in diapers. He is both hyperactive and impulsive. He is cognitively impaired and incautious. He will bolt and run away with no regard for safety, whether at home, in school or in public. He is often unable to sit still and focus. He will unbuckle his seatbelt in the car and remove his safety harness on the school bus. Izaac is easily frustrated and does not handle change well. He displays repetitive behaviors and wipes things. If not supervised he will try to eat things that are inappropriate like dirt, sand, mulch or things found on the ground. He drinks BOOST Kid Essentials 2-3 per day for nutrition as he often refuses to eat regular food related to his sensory issues.
4 Paws for Ability is a 501 c3 non-profit agency that specializes in training service dogs for people with disabilities. They specifically train service dogs for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder / Drug Exposure (FASD/DE). The FASD/DE Assistance Dog is trained to help with sensory overload, safety, social lubrication, calming, increased independence, stability, empathy and bonding. When we first visited the 4 Paws for Ability website and read the description of what an FASD/DE Assistance Dog can provide, we knew Izaac needed a four-legged best friend to help him. So, we completed the application and they have already accepted our son into their program.
On average, it costs 4 Paws for Ability $50,000 to breed and train a service dog and we need to raise $17,000 to help 4 Paws for Ability with the cost. All donations (including goods, services, and volunteering at or attending fundraising events) are greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity. All monetary donations should be made DIRECTLY to:
4 Paws For Ability
In honor of Izaac Reese
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385
If you wish to make a donation on-line the website is www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now . You must include Izaac Reese in the notes or instructions to merchant section. You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385 – Monday through Friday 9am-4pm EST or visit our FirstGiving fundraising page at: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/aimee-reese/4Paws_Izaac