Meet Levi, our active, curious, and charming eight-year-old.
Levi has Down syndrome and his learning difficulties make his safety a big concern for our family. Because of this, he requires constant supervision.
In addition to Down syndrome, Levi has speech apraxia and could not tell someone his name or our phone number if he ever became separated from us. He has no sense of danger and has run off from us several times in busy public places to chase a soccer ball or go up and down an escalator. It is very frightening and is a daily concern for our family.
Levi once opened a door at church and almost slipped away from us into a busy parking lot. He has unbuckled himself on the bus and was caught by the back of his shirt just before hitting the dashboard. We pay for someone to stay with him all day every day of church camp. To keep him safe at home, we had to put locks at the top of each of the exterior doors because he opened one up and walked outside (almost into the street) before we got to him.
Levi joined the cross-country team last year and loves running. We are so happy for the freedom and enjoyment he gets from this sport. Unfortunately, one of us has to run with him at practice and during meets to keep him safe on the courses. Even while practicing with his team at a local park, he gets into dangerous situations. He has stopped very close to the pond to watch someone fishing and had to be stopped from walking out in front of cars multiple times.
4 Paws for Ability can provide a service dog for Levi trained specifically to keep him safe and meet his specific needs. He can be tethered to the dog while waiting for the bus or when in large crowds and hold its leash in other situations. The dog can be trained to give deep pressure to help Levi fall back to sleep rather than getting up (and into unsafe situations) in the middle of the night. The dog will even be trained for search and rescue if Levi were for any reason separated from us.
It will cost 4 Paws for Ability over $40,000 to train a dog for us, and our family is responsible for raising $17,000 of that. If you are able to make a donation to them in Levi’s honor, we would be very grateful. This support could potentially save Levi’s life and will give our family peace of mind in regards to his safety.
Donations for Levi’s dog should be made directly to 4 Paws for Ability in Levi’s honor. Be sure to write Levi Vernon on the memo line. Mail checks to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Levi Vernon
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385
If you wish to make an online donation, the website is: www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now
Please include in the notes for 4 Paws for Ability section of the form “Donation made in honor of Levi Vernon.”