Luca DePinto

By | Make a Dream Come True

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 of his home and family around him, even the appearance and order of objects in his environment create impediments to his ability to function.   He can be easily overwhelmed and upset.  When that occurs, Luca frequently runs away without regard to his safety.  He has run into traffic, water, and other hazards.

How an Autism Assistance Dog Will Help

Having an assistance dog to partner with Luca would be life-changing–providing independence, security, and comfort.  A service dog will help keep Luca safe by using a tether when hand-holding is overwhelming for him.  The dog will be trained to alert to his parents when Luca bolts and runs away and will be trained to track him. His dog will be taught behavior disruption techniques, which could provide calming sensory input, interrupt or redirect inappropriate behavior, provide familiarity in unfamiliar circumstances, and be a friend that can walk with him through the anxious circumstances of his life.  His dog would assist Luca in attending more family functions and activities rather than having him isolate himself.

4 Paws for Ability

“Our family chose 4 Paws for Ability because it started the Autism Assistance Dog with search and rescue ability and is the largest organization providing Autism Assistance Dogs to children with no minimum age and no geographic restriction. It costs 4 Paws more than $40,000 to raise and properly train a service dog with our son’s specific needs in mind,” Kathleen noted. His family is committed to raise $17,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission. The money will go directly to 4 Paws for the purpose of helping them care for and train his life-saving dog.  4 Paws can be seen in action in Episode 1 of “Dogs” on Netflix.

How You Can Provide This Life-Saving Gift

If you can help Luca, please visit the 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include Luca’s name on the donation as instructed in the “Description” field of the form on the second page of the Authorize.net donation.  Donations can also be made by mailing a check with Luca’s name on the memo line to:

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Luca DePinto
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385

Bryston Anderson

By | Make a Dream Come True

Hello, we are the Anderson family. We are a unique family in that we are a foster and adoptive family. To date we have had the privilege of having 57 children come through our home. Most go on to reunification with family or other living arrangements. Some do not and those we have adopted, six at this point. As you can imagine our home is full of energy and love, but also stress and anxiety as each child learns how to heal and deal with the challenges life has given them. Of our 9 children, 4 are totally different special needs. All of these 4 have suffered from seizures and developmental delays.

Meet Bryston, our fun loving 10 year old. Bryston loves all sports but is especially fond of golf. Although labeled with extreme ADHD Bryston will sit and watch golf. He loves to play golf as well and is actually pretty good at it.

Bryston entered our home as a foster child when he was 8 months old. Bryston was adopted at the age of 2. Bryston had major delays because at 8 months he was still like a newborn and couldn’t hold his head or meet any of the typical milestones. Bryston’s genetic testing showed he has a duplication of chromosome 15Q11.2. This is a rare condition of which many other conditions manifest, some of which are autism, hypotonia, and epilepsy. Bryston has both of these plus more. Most of Bryston’s seizures occur in his sleep. Some of these seizures cause his brain waves to spike downward shutting down portions of his brain. We are fundraising to get a service dog to assist us and Bryston. Bryston tends to wander or elope as many children with autism do. A service dog will help keep Bryston from wandering as well as alert us when his brain is shutting down due to seizure activity. A service dog will also be able to assist Bryston in dealing with his major anxiety and explosive behaviors due to the anxiety.

So please consider a donation to assist us in reaching our fundraising goal of $17000. We have selected 4 Paws for Ability to be our service dog provider because of their excellent reputation. The overall cost to get a service dog to their client is $60,000, yet each client only needs to raise $17000. The remaining costs are covered by donations to the 4 Paws for Ability agency located in Xenia, OH. Yet fundraising $17,000 is a large amount for our busy household as we currently have 5 special needs children ages 11, 10, 7, 3 &1 currently living in our home.

If you wish to make a donation on-line the website, is www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now .  Include Bryston’s name on the donation as instructed in the “Description” field of the form on the second page of your Authorize.net donation.

Checks by mail:

Please make checks out to 4 Paws for Ability and please make sure to write the child’s name on your check memo line – “In honor of Bryston Anderson.”

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Bryston Anderson
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.

By phone:

You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385 – Monday thru Friday 9AM to 4PM EST.

Thanks so much for your gift of love.
The Anderson’s

August Spears

By | Make a Dream Come True

August came into this world in April 2015 and already had big plans for shaking things up! August was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis when he was 5 months old and it turned his family’s world upside down.

Unlike JIA, Systemic JIA can cause inflammation in the body’s internal systems and organs (heart, lungs, brain, etc.) as well as joints. While August has been fortunate in that he hasn’t had much joint involvement in his disease, he has experienced severe complications on more than one occasion and has had many hospitals stays, infusions, injections, tests, labs and the like in his 4 years of life. He even spent a year on oxygen due to complications with his lungs.

Now, as of October 2018, August is in remission from his disease and is doing great! He’s off medications and is loving his time away from shots and IVs. There’s no telling what the future holds for Gus, as far as remission and Systemic JIA, but for now he and his family are enjoying every healthy minute and continuing to raise awareness for this rare disease and its complications!

In June 2017, August was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay. At the time, August was behind developmentally (in comparison to peers) and had already begun therapy for speech and shortly after also began occupational and physical therapies. With a little guidance, it wasn’t long before August started catching up and he’s doing better and better all the time.

In 2018, August started pre-school in our local school district and has never been happier! August loves going to school and especially loves taking the bus. August sees speech, occupational and physical therapists at school and really enjoys it all. He even likes when he has therapy again after school!

August loves animals (especially sea animals), the alphabet, counting, Paw Patrol, his dogs Chai and Ruby, music, singing, dancing and movies! He’s the most curious child that his parents have ever met and loves experiencing new things and places. August is very close to his family and loves spending time at home with everyone.

Our hopes are that a service dog will bring comfort and offer extra safety for our curious August. August has a tendency to wander and we would love nothing more than an extra set of eyes and ears on him when we are out in the world. Even more than that, a service dog could be a life-saving addition to our family. August’s service dog will be trained to track his scent and tethering, so where August goes, his dog will go with him.

August often experiences anxiety in new places (and even familiar places) and a service dog can offer that comfort and normalcy, even when experiencing new things! Some other ways we are hoping a service dog can benefit August are with sleep, deep pressure therapy, therapy appointments and visits to the hospital for long appointments, labs or stays.

All in all, we really believe that this service dog will be a huge blessing for both August and our family and we cannot wait to see all of the ways having this companion can benefit August’s life!

Thank you so much for your donations, support and love!

Liam Espina

By | Make a Dream Come True

Paws for Liam!

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 could not communicate verbally with us and began banging his head.

At age 4 Liam was diagnosed with Autism. We embarked on the journey to learn anything and everything we could so that we understand some of the challenges that Liam will face. Our family was introduced to all sorts of abbreviations and acronyms, such as non-verbal, ABA, IEP, Echoic stemming, picture schedules, transition plans and sensory overload, just to name a few. Kids with Autism are all so very different. The saying, “Once you met one child with Autism, you have met one child with Autism” is very true. The main reason we started researching service dogs was due to Liam’s inability to understand what is safe. Liam will run at a moment’s notice putting himself at risk. Our family researched so many different Organizations and groups. It wasn’t until we saw for our own eyes the amazing impact a service dog has on autistic children at the Child Neurology Conference. These
amazing furry heroes’ and the Organizations that train them are amazing. Our research uncovered so much more that service dogs can do. The Service 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 has wandered. To read more about Service Dogs that are trained specifically for autistic children, https://www.rover.com/blog/service-dogs-benefit-autistic-community/

Today, Liam is a, lively and lovable six-year-old who enjoys being outside, running and making his big sister, his Dad and I laugh. He brightens our day and has taught us to celebrate small wins. Liam loves lots of squeezes and pressure for comfort when things are overwhelming or too intense. He has no safety awareness, so Liam requires constant attention and monitoring to prevent him from falling, banging himself against surfaces, wandering or running away.

Liam also has anxiety issues and while he is semi-verbal he uses phrase or sounds in repetition as a coping mechanism. The “repetitive verbal stemming” often keeps him from engaging socially and keeps him from communicating. Liam started 1st grade, which includes new exciting and challenging adventures. Our hope is that Liam’s furry hero, can help him navigate these adventures from the perspective of his special world.

Cost for a Service Dog
It costs more than $40,000 to professionally raise and train a service dog that can meet Liam’s exact needs. Our family is reaching out to ask our friends, families, the community and corporate sponsors to help us reach our goal of bringing his service dog home. Our family will cover a portion of this cost, while we are fundraising for the remaining $17,000, to secure a service dog for Liam.

How you can make a difference
If you can make a donation towards Liam’s service dog, please visit the 4 Paws donation page:
http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now.

Include “Liam Espina” in the “instructions to merchant” through Authorize.Net. Donations can also be made by mailing a check to 4 Paws for Ability (details below).

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Liam Espina
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.

Please be sure to include “Liam Espina” on the memo line of the check. Please feel free to contact us at paws4liam@gmail.com and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have or discuss how your generous donation and support can make a huge difference in Liam’s life.

Caleb Nwanorim

By | Make a Dream Come True

Hi! My name is Caleb Nwanorim,

Everyone who knows me calls me Caleb or super awesome K! I’m 7 years old and going on 8 years on September 29th.  I enjoy swimming, cooking, going to school, playing board games, and visiting grandma who is my favorite person in the whole world. Its mostly me, my mother and my annoying sister Ella. Shes 5 and of course my best friend when moms around.

I have autism and developmental disabilities. I enjoy my therapies which i have twice a week at home with my speech therapist and my occupational Therapist. I have been receiving help  with speech and O.T at school everyday for close to 3 years now. I also have increased anxiety due to trauma at school such as being bullied and not being able to talk effectively. My mom is my greatest advocate and fully supports my need to have a service animal. Not only for my disability but because I’m lonely and I need a friend to help me reduce my anxiety and to help me practice my social skills so i can be able to make friends and as well as communicate effectively to others.  

 My speech and language impairments negatively impact my ability to understand and be understood by others when communicating, which frustrates me and increases my anxiety. I also have additional characteristics of anxiety such as issues with social communication, difficulty adapting to new environment, awareness of danger, and difficulty with emotional stability. Having a companion would greatly benefit me because my companion would decrease my overall anxiety and to help me function effectively and independently across settings. I am also unable to complete ADL’s which are also known as activities of daily living due to anxiety symptoms and communication deficits and requires me to get assistance from my mom to help me meet my basic needs several times throughout the day and night like getting dressed. Also having a service animal from 4 Paws for Ability would provide and assist me with safety behavior intervention and prevention of anxiety attacks and meltdowns at home and and in public. Having a best friend around me can provide a soothing and comfortable environment just by spending time. It is a reminder to myself to be patient and calm with myself and others and that I am not alone with my disability. I can also practice communication with a service dog. And finally I will be able to have responsibility by taking care of my friend this will teach me to be more independent and confident inside and outside of my own environment.
My mother Cydnee is trying to get donations for me to get a service dog through 4 Paws for Ability. Please donate to my cause. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

4 Paws is a non-profit organization (501 3c). 4 Paws for Ability service dogs are trained from birth for a specific person. The cost to train and place these dogs with a disabled child is at least $40,000. Families approved for matching must raise their portion. The required portion for Caleb’s service companion is $17,000. They say, “dogs are a man’s best friend”, and I believe that Caleb will not only have a service dog but a best friend for life which will allow him take on everyday life challenges, all while giving him the independence he desires and deserves as he grows up.

I am planning fundraisers with hopes of raising  $17,000 soon. The wait time is 2 to 2.5 years due to the nature of the extensive training and the number of kids who need a service companion. If you would like to donate in Caleb’s efforts to raise the money needed, you can donate 3 different ways.

By mail – checks made out to 4 Paws for Ability with Caleb Nwanorim on the memo line
Mail to:
4 Paws for Ability
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia OH 45385

Online
https://4pawsforability.org/donate-now
include Caleb Nwanorim in your Authorize.Net payment.

Phone
credit card donations can be made at (937) 374-0385 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm EST

Athena Kiger

By | Make a Dream Come True

Athena Kiger is seven years old and 4 feet 4 inches who has Asperger’s, which is on the Autism Spectrum. Even though her disability allows her to be higher-functioning, she still suffers with daily issues.

Athena will disappear in the store as if she were Houdini, for she is very curious and tends to wander. She has emotional breakdowns at random, and in these times she needs support. Loud noises tend to frighten her or become too much where she does not know what to do. Athena tends to be non-social but will engage in conversation if you speak to her first. She has trouble speaking and mispronouncing words.

A service dog for Athena would be a life-changing event; it would be trained to locate and find her and be able to calm her to where she could feel safe from emotional breakdowns.  From birth through training, the cost of placing such a dog in a family like ours is at least $40,000.  The fee to receive a service dog is $17,000.

If you can help Athena with a donation in her name, please visit the 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now). Include Athena Kiger in the donation by following the instructions on Authorize.Net. Donations can also be made by mailing a check with Athena’s name on the memo line to:

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Athena Walker
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385

As a single mom I want the best for her. Please help us on our adventure and for a better tomorrow that lead us to a better forever. Please donate for Athena.

Brynlynn Tea

By | Make a Dream Come True

Brynlynn was born on January 20th, 2015. She is now a beautiful, vibrant 3 year old who loves princesses, Paw Patrol, and animals. Our lives were forever changed on December 2nd, 2016 when she was rushed from one hospital to another. She was diagnosed with cerebral heterotopia, Hemiparesis, reflex asymmetry, seizures, Todd’s paralysis, and Schizencephaly. Her seizures will be a lifelong battle. Brain surgery may be an option for her in the future. For now a seizure alert dog is recommended. The dog will be able to alert to the seizure and we will be able to give her rescue medication.

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000-60,000 to raise and place a task-trained service dog.  We are raising $17,000 to assist with the cost of Brynlynn’s service dog.

Donations can be made at https://4pawsforability.org/donate-now/. If you make a donation on the website, please make sure that you include Brynlynn’s name in the description field.  Donations can also be made via check and mailed to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Brynlynn Tea
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio 45385

In the memo line make sure you put “In honor of Brynlynn Tea.”

This now starts our journey to raise $17,000 to give Brynlynn a seizure dog that could potentially save her life in the end. Any help is appreciated!

Kiley Bell

By | Make a Dream Come True

Hi! My name is Kiley Bell, and I am 10 years old and in 5th grade. I love swimming, and singing in chorus at my school. I love to hang out with my brother and play video games and watch movies. When I was 8 years old I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and brittle bones. This means my body doesn’t produce enough collagen. Which basically means my joints are over flexible and loose and I dislocate very easily. I also have frequent body pain and some days I just hurt really badly. I also break bones easily due to my bones being brittle. One time I actually had to have surgery on my hand because a foam football broke it!

I have also been diagnosed with P.O.T.S. (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which means when I stand up it stresses out my autonomic nervous system and my heart rate increases and my blood pressure drops. It makes me feel very dizzy, weak, and tired. Sometimes I even pass out. This is very dangerous, especially since I already get hurt very easily.

I am still going through testing to address more issues I am facing. The doctor says I might have more things to conquer in my future, but that’s ok! My whole family is behind me helping me along the way. We just started this process and already the support I have received has been truly amazing.  My parents were told by one of my doctors that it might be good for me to get a service dog. They did their research and spoke to my geneticist and everyone agreed a service dog would be a great tool for me and my independence and safety.

My mommy and daddy are trying to raise money to get me a service dog. This dog will be able to help me so much! If I feel dizzy and need to lay down, I can brace on the dog and get to the ground safely, the dog will also be taught to prop my legs up so that my blood pressure can regulate. If I have a fainting spell at school the dog can bark and alert someone to come help me. This means I can be more independent at school! The dog will also be able to help get things for me, especially the times when I have a broken bone and can’t get something myself. The dog will also be able to open doors for me when needed.

This service dog will be a life changing tool for me to have. It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000-60,000 to raise and place a task-trained service dog.  My family is raising $17,000 to assist with the cost of my service dog. Please help me gain more independence and set me up for success by donating to my service dog fund. Every little penny counts!

Donations can be made at https://4pawsforability.org/donate-now/. If you make a donation on the website, please make sure that you include my name (Kiley Michele Bell) in the description field.  Donations can also be made via check and mailed to
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Kiley Bell
at 253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio 45385.

In the memo line make sure you put “In honor of Kiley Michele Bell.”

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story!

Alexijanae Kanani Oliveira-Golden

By | Make a Dream Come True

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. And 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 do her own dressing and take her own shoes off . . . but she can’t.

She also has Septo-optic dysplasia and has had two eye surgeries. Plus, she just had her hip sliced in two and put back together. She needs help doing everything; however she is in normal grade school classes.

Alexijanae loves kids and life! She needs a chance in life to make it! She loves Disney and we want to go. She is outgoing and a leader. She loves our church. She wants to become a singer, loves high school musicals, and she loves watching her older brother.

We heard about 4 Paws for Ability (a nonprofit agency) and their Mobility Service Dogs. We think obtaining a dog for Alexijanae would be beneficial to her and us. 4 Paws has a unique approach to placement. They partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. A service dog would be ideal because it would give Alexijanae independence, help, support, and a 24/7 friend.

I want so much for Alexijanae and her sister Alia to have everything life has to offer, including excellent gymnastics and dance. Alexijanae loves to sing and maybe at some point she can have a scholarship for voice lessons. She’s getting an awesome education. There are many things she yearns to do, like play baseball. And someday she wants to get married and have children.

It will cost 4 Paws over $40,000 to place a dog with Alexijanae. We are committed to raising $17,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach our goal with your help. If you can help, please visit 4 Paws Donation Page (http://www.4PawsForAbility.org/donate-now) or mail a check with her name on the memo line to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Alexijanae Oliveira-Golden
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385.

Thank you.

Ryland Houk

By | Make a Dream Come True

Whether you know a lot about Ryland or are being introduced to him for the first time, we appreciate you taking time out of your busy lives to learn about him. So, a big THANK YOU from our family!

Let me introduce you to Ryland.  He loves owls, minecraft and “playing” the electric guitar. Ryland looks very much like every other kid and people expect him to behave like one too but he is different.

Ryland was born premature, a twin, at 32 weeks weighing a whopping 2.7 lbs and spent 6 weeks in the NICU. As Ryland has grown we started to notice subtle differences between him and “typical” kids his age. He had difficulty carrying on age appropriate conversations, isolates himself and he fixated on owls and facts surrounding them. Ryland has super sensitive hearing, and doesn’t maintain eye contact.

Through out his life, Ryland has received multiple diagnosis. ADHD, anxiety, speech delay, fine and gross motor delay, low muscle tone and sensory processing disorder.  Then in the fall of 2017, Ryland received the diagnosis of Autism.

Ryland has to deal daily with issues that cause him stress. Whether it’s the noise in a restroom, fire drills, fireworks, thunderstorms or the constant distractions that occur around him.  Ryland desires to have friends, but he has difficulty understanding the social norms.  Simple changes to his routine can cause him to become upset.  When he is upset he will pull his hair, kick, hit and bite himself.

Our family and Ryland’s doctors believe that an autism service dog would greatly benefit Ryland. The service dog would offer him friendship, independence and security.

A service dog would provide a constant “friend” to Ryland.  It would be trained to cope with his behaviors, offer him affection and touch stimulus to help calm him. The service dog would also help Ryland in establishing relationships with friends his own age.

A service dog would provide some independence and security for our son, it will be trained to have a tether between it and Ryland. This allows for our son to walk by himself outside, yet provides us with the ability to issue a stop command, should the need arise. The service dog would also be trained to track Ryland, should we become separated for any reason.

We have decided to partner up with 4 Paws for Ability.

4 Paws was the first agency in the United States to begin placing highly skilled Autism Assistance Dogs and the first agency known to place these assistance dogs with tracking skills.

You can learn about this wonderful group of people at:  https://www.4pawsforability.org

It costs over $40,000 to specialty train a service dog for Ryland’s exact needs, and so our family is reaching out to ask our wonderful friends, families, and community to help us reach our goal of bringing his service dog home.  Our family will cover a portion of this cost, $17,000, to secure a service dog for Ryland.  We are excited for Ryland to be healthier, happier, more productive and independent with his Autism service dog.

You can make a donation in one of the following ways:

Checks by mail:

Please make checks out to 4 Paws for Ability and PLEASE MAKE SURE to put Ryland’s name on your check memo line – “In honor of Ryland Houk.”

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Ryland Houk
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.

Online donations:

If you wish to make a donation on-line the website, is www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now .  Include the Ryland’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal.

By phone:

You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385 – Monday thru Friday 9AM to 4PM EST.

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