Meet Kitty, our ray of sunshine! Katherine Viola Jezior, Kitty, was born on February 20, 2012, and has non-verbal Autism and Epilepsy. From the moment she entered our lives, she made herself known. She was the loudest baby in the nursery, she was the biggest baby in the NICU, and our pediatrician dubbed her “enormously strong” at one week. Always expressive with giant blue eyes, she never seemed to blink as she was taking the whole world in. But the world, it would seem, would soon prove to be different for her and for us as a family. Hand flapping, toe walking, and intense reactions seemed nothing more than cute baby features to us as first time parents. But when Kitty started missing milestones, becoming withdrawn, highly anxious and non-verbal, we were advised to get help. That help came at a critical moment, and after much therapy we watched our daughter open back up to us and to the world.
Kitty was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay and Speech Delay at 2 1/2 years old. She has received Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapies, ABA Therapy, and Hippotherapy ever since. She’s still non-verbal, using an assistive device (like an iPad) and a tiny bit of sign language to speak.
In December of 2017, she had her first seizure. That started us down the path of an epilepsy diagnosis and all of the monitoring and medical help required to manage seizures.
Today, she’s a rough, rambunctious six year old who loves being outside and running, and who loves to play piano. She’s a both snuggle-bunny and a bull in a china shop who needs lots of squeezing and pressure to get her wiggles out. She has no safety awareness, so Kitty requires constant attention and monitoring to prevent her from mouthing objects, banging herself against surfaces, wandering or running away, or injuring herself out of anxiety, frustration or sensory overload.
We decided as a family that a service dog would be great for Kitty: to alert us if she’s having a seizure, to intercept her when she’s anxious and self-injurious, to give pressure when she needs support, to provide redirection when she’s moving unsafely, and most of all to be her friend and companion. We’re looking forward to the day when we can welcome this dog into our family.
It costs more than $40,000 to professionally raise and train a service dog that can meet Kitty’s exact needs. Our family is reaching out to ask our friends, families, and community to help us reach our goal of bringing her service dog home. Our family will cover a portion of this cost, $17,000, to secure a service dog for Kitty.
If you are able to make a donation towards Kitty’s service dog, please visit the 4 Paws donation page: http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now. Include “Katherine Jezior” in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. Donations can also be made by mailing a check to 4 Paws for Ability (details below). Please be sure to include “Katherine Jezior” on the memo line of the check.
4 Paws for Ability
In honor of Katherine “Kitty” Jezior
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, OH 45385
Thank you for hearing our story.