Christian Alford

By | Make a Dream Come True

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 a lot because he sometimes cannot make everyone understand what he wants or needs, and sometimes self-harms himself during his frustration.  He really has to be watched continuously because he is a climber and very active and does not understand danger.  When in public we have to hold tightly to him because he will run or wander away from us.

We came across some information about autism service dogs and decided to look around for possible ways to get one for our son.  We stumbled upon an organization called 4 Paws for Ability in Ohio who provides service dogs trained especially for children like Christian.  We went through the application process and were excited to hear that our son is approved and accepted into the program!!  We feel a service dog will help our son become more social and to help with behavior disruption (self-harming, meltdowns) and Christian will be tethered to the dog in public places to help keep him from running or wandering away.

It costs 4 Paws more than $22,000 to raise and properly train a service dog with our son’s specific needs in mind.  We are committed to raise $15,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission.  The money we raise will go to 4 Paws for Ability directly, to help them to care for and train these special animals.  Our fundraising will help us obtain a service dog through 4 Paws for our son.  This organization helps many children and adults who need an assistance or service dog for their disabilities and we are excited to help our son as well as help this organization continue their work for others in need.

All donations should be made DIRECTLY to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Christian Alford
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.

Please make checks out to 4 Paws for Ability and please make sure to write on your check memo line – “In honor of Christian Alford” – so that we receive the points from your donation.  All donations made are tax deductible as 4 Paws for Ability is a non-profit 501c3 organization.  Any services or products donated for an event is also tax deductible!!

If you wish to make a donation on-line the website, is .  Include Christian’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal.  You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385 – Monday thru Friday 9AM to 4PM EST.  4 Paws for Ability will send you a tax deductible receipt of your giving.

Thank you for helping us,

Bradley and Tiffany Alford (Christian’s mom and dad) 936-334-9366

Brodie Fishwick

By | Make a Dream Come True

FishwickThis charming little man is Brodie Fishwick. He loves Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants, Minions, and all things outside. He is 4 years old and is special in his own way. Brodie was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. Brodie has made remarkable advances, but it wasn’t always so easy.

Brodie started out like any child would, learning to walk, talk, and interact with other children. When he was only a year old, he didn’t seem to want to interact with other children or even acknowledge they were around him. It seemed like he might just be shy at first and would take a while to warm up to the other children. This continued for a while and Brodie started to show signs of being delayed in his speech and other areas of development. At 2 years old, Brodie only had about 15 words that he would use on a regular basis.

He would also spin around constantly and rock continuously into the back of the couch. He would line up toys in a perfect line, starting with the smallest object and moving up in size. If it wasn’t the way he wanted it, he would get frustrated and sometimes throw the toys. He also has no concept of safety. Brodie will take off running at a moment’s notice.

His family has to keep a constant watch on him and keep him within an area surrounded by gates to keep him safe. He has actually been kicked out of a daycare because he made it out the doors and into the parking lot. He has made strides in his speech, but he lacks the skills needed to know what is appropriate and what is not. His teachers and family work with him constantly to do so.

Brodie is looking to get an autism service dog to help him in social situations. It has become increasingly difficult to take Brodie into the public because one wrong look will set off a meltdown. There has been no way to calm him down as of right now. Our hope is that the dog will help him in public by acting as a calming way to get his mind off of what is upsetting him and causing the meltdowns. Brodie also doesn’t like to be touched unless he initiates the contact. The dog would help keep Brodie safe while in areas such as school, parks, and public areas.

4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit organization that helps place people with disabilities with a certified service dog. This group is dedicated to helping those in need of help. They work with children as well as adults in making sure the service dog will fit the needs of the handler and help that person succeed in life.

It will cost 4 Paws for Ability, Inc. at least $22,000 to place a dog with Brodie. We are committed to raising $15,000 to help 4 Paws continue their work. If you can help us with a tax-deductible donation, please visit the 4 Paws Donation Page ( Be sure to include “Brodie Fishwick” as the recipient of the donation. You can also mail a check directly to 4 Paws for Ability, on the memo line of the check please write “Brodie Fishwick.”

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Brodie Fishwick
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, Ohio 45385

David Byrd

By | Make a Dream Come True

david_byrdWhether you know a lot about David 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 David.  He is an amazing 7 year old.  He loves video games, super heroes and asking the question “Why?”. David looks very much like every other kid and people expect him to behave like one too.  But life is different for David. Most people don’t understand the reason he behaves different is due to “Autism”.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

David has to deal daily with issues that cause him stress. Whether it’s the noise of life, the sea of faces he can’t interpret or the constant distractions that occur around him. David 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 and if given the chance, he will run.

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

A service dog would provide a constant “friend” to our son.  It would be trained to cope with his behavior, yet offer to my son love, affection and touch stimulus to help calm him. The service dog would also work as a conduit for social interaction of my son with his peers.

A service dog would provide some independence and security for my son, it will be trained to have a tether between it and David. This allows for my 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 my son, should we become separated for any reason.

In order to provide my son with such a service dog, we have decided to team 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:

So let’s fundraise for 4 Paws!

We are humbly asking you to please consider making a tax deductible donation in honor of David.  Our family is very committed to this emotionally, physically, and financially. As soon as we raise the required donation ($15k), then 4 Paws will begin training a dog just for David’s needs.

It will cost 4 Paws for Ability, Inc. at least $22,000 to place a dog with David. You can help us with a tax-deductible donation by visiting the 4 Paws Donation Page ( Be sure to include “David Byrd” as the recipient of the donation in the instructions to merchant on PayPal. You can also mail a check with “David Byrd” on the memo line of the check directly to:

4 Paws for Ability
In honor of David Byrd
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, Ohio 45385

Bryton & Aspen Charles

By | Make a Dream Come True

Bryton & Aspen CharlesMeet Bryton & Aspen Charles

We are the Charles family; there are four of us, my husband Daniel, Bryton, Aspen Jace and myself, Susan Charles. Bryton is our first child; my husband and I are a little older than most couples having their first child. We had prayed for so long to have a child. I had many physical problems and had been told by many doctors that I would never have a child. One special great aunt prayed with me many times, and shortly before she passed told me to keep praying and never give up. Imagine our delight when several weeks after her passing I discovered I was pregnant for the first time, even more miraculous Bryton was born on her birthday.

Bryton was born December 26, 2008, six weeks premature at St. Vincent’s Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. I had a pretty normal pregnancy considering all the previous problems and a normal, very quick delivery. Bryton weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches long. He was a healthy baby but was taken to the NICU as a precaution since he was premature.  I had hoped to nurse him but was physically unable to do so. Bryton had feeding problems from the first bottle; he vomited up every formula they tried. He ended up staying in the NICU for eight days before we could take him home.

Our pediatrician thought he had Gerd and said he’s fine, some babies spit up a lot and he is gaining some weight and looks healthy, and they prescribed an antacid. Bryton began to have some respiratory issues, and it was recommended we see Dr. Reddy at St. Vincent Children’s Hospital. Bryton had begun to aspirate some of the formula he was vomiting. Dr. Reddy suggested we take him to Maumee Pediatrics for an evaluation. On our first visit Bryton made it clear his vomiting was not your usual baby spit up. He had stopped gaining weight and was very fussy and had difficulty with bowel movements. He was referred to Dr. Mark Naddaf in July. Several tests later it was discovered that he has Celiac’s Disease and Failure to Thrive. He was placed on a Gluten-free, Caisen free diet as he also doesn’t tolerate dairy products.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorders. Since that time Bryton has been diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and a rare immune system disorder that prevents his body from making antibodies to fight off illness. 

In September of 2014 he started kindergarten, and he is doing very well. It has been a struggle to educate people about Bryton’s many special needs, but every minute we are with him makes it all worth it. Every day we are learning how to manage the many issues that he must deal with.

 We were so lucky to find the many medical and therapy professionals that we have needed to help us along this journey. They have been so kind and patient with us and helped us to learn along with them how to manage the different needs, and I have also gotten a lot of support from the Celiac Disease Foundation and Seneca County Early Intervention; I also made many new friends through Children’s Miracle Network events and online in a support group called Sensory Parents. With the support and assistance of these professionals and the many parents that share our journey, we have been able to meet his needs and make his world a better place. Bryton loves to play with his four cousins, going for walks with his grandma, and cuddling with mom and dad, and we are so blessed to have him in our life.

So imagine our joy at being blessed with another son four years later.

Aspen Jace was born on December 27, the day after his big brother’s birthday and weighed in at 7 lbs. 7 ozs.   Again an uneventful pregnancy and delivery, Aspen was full term and was a beautiful blue eyed replica of his brother.

Shortly after his birth Aspen began to have episodes where he would stop breathing and turn a very alarming shade of blue. After many trips to the hospital in an ambulance and a few overnight stays, Aspen was diagnosed with Baby Breath Holding Syndrome; he also had several hearing tests that he did not pass and needed to have tubes placed in his ears in an attempt to restore his hearing.

At this time Aspen is hearing better but has not begun to speak yet and has recently been re-diagnosed as having some kind of seizure disorder and weakness in his large muscles.  Again we have met many caring and capable professionals as well as other families that help us along our new journey.

 Our children are a gift we never expected to have and keeping them safe, happy, and healthy is our priority.

We are seeking the help of an assistance dog to help us achieve this goal. Bryton has a tendency to roam and taking him to public events becomes very difficult because at the same time we have to keep an eye on Aspen who is still having several seizures each day. It is difficult for me to even leave the room to take care of daily needs. Having a trained assistance dog will allow our family the opportunity to enjoy many activities and events that we are not currently able to, and it will be an asset to our family in so many ways. 

If you would like to make a donation to help Bryton & Aspen, you may donate directly through the 4 Paws website at , with Bryton & Aspen Charles in the special instructions.

 Checks can be mailed to to 4 Paws For Ability and write “In Honor of Bryton & Aspen Charles” on the memo line,

253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH. 45385

Conner Gretz

By | Make a Dream Come True

Meet Conner Gretz!

He’s 8 years old, and was diagnosed in 2013 with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), ADHD, SPD (sensory processing disorder), and a seizure disorder, but began exhibiting signs a year before. Conner has trouble relating to humans, and has no human friends; he says that his best friends are the cat and his toys. He has no fear. The possibility of injury, the speed of moving cars–nothing scares him, and this makes him a daredevil. He frequently gets hurt doing things like going down the sliding board headfirst or climbing onto the swing set sideways. He darts away in public, mostly in parking lots, sometimes into oncoming parking lot traffic. This is made further difficult by his ODD, which triggers him to say no to everything–even fun things like going to the park or eating a treat.

Conner’s family dreams of a multipurpose service dog that could eliminate the fear of Conner running away into danger’s path by being tethered to him, and be able to track him if he did manage to get away and hide. A service dog would also provide deep pressure contact, which would help with his SPD, and be trained in behavior disruption tactics to help with meltdowns.

Conner loves to cuddle and loves animals, taking great pride in helping with his pets (three cats and one fish), which means that a dog would be right at home with Conner. He also loves bugging his big sister, Shyanna…which means he’s not so different from any other little boy!

Conner’s family is working to raise $14,000 toward 4 Paws’ mission to qualify for a service dog that will improve the quality of his life immensely. His sister, Shyanna, 7, has autism and a seizure disorder, and received a 4 Paws service dog in June of 2013. Thank you for helping make Shyanna’s dream come true, and if you can, please help do the same for Conner by making a donation today to 4 Paws for Ability in honor of Conner Gretz.

To help:

  • Click “Donate now!” and specify that your donation is for Conner Gretz
  • Or mail a check with Conner Gretz in the memo line to:

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Conner Gretz
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385