Archer Valdez

By | Make a Dream Come True

Hi there! Welcome to our journey to gift our son, Archer, with a mobility service dog through 4 Paws for Ability

For those of you who may not know, our son Archer was diagnosed at birth with a rare genetic neuromuscular disorder, Central Core Disease (CCD) as a result of a change on his RYR-1 gene (auto-recessive, though my husband Bobby and I had no idea this condition existed or that we were carriers). Affected children have diminished muscle tone (hypotonia) resulting in abnormal "floppiness" and muscle weakness, which impacts critical functions such as breathing and eating and simple tasks like sitting up, crawling, standing and walking. 

 The diagnosis was a complete surprise and left us reeling.  We struggled to understand what this meant for our lives and how to navigate this new, complex world into which we'd been thrust. Accepting Archer’s diagnosis meant resetting expectations for our son and what the future might look like. Every parent has dreams and aspirations for how their child will thrive in the world and our visions were completely upended.

The hardest part was the lack of answers. When most people are handed news they weren’t expecting they go searching for answers; we were no exception. However, because CCD is so rare there were very few answers to be found and we were staring down a future with very little certainty. Would Archer walk? Talk? Eat? Having to consider that any of these possibilities were entirely feasible is more than any parent should have to bear. 

Archer’s doctors told us children affected by CCD were on a spectrum; some were more seriously impacted than others, never ambulatory and requiring round-the-clock breathing support, while other children were only mildly affected. With Archer, all they could offer was that time would tell and we would just have to wait and see how things would turn out.

Early on, we made the decision to let go of all expectations and let Archer show us, day by day, what he was capable of. We'd love him and support him and he would forge his path his own way.  Archer continues to surprise and delight us. At 18 months we were floored when he started to take steps, eventually learning to walk by his second birthday. He continues to make exceptional progress, learning new skills every day and gaining confidence in his own abilities. Our little dude is determined to be the best he can be and we are determined to help him every step of the way.

To continue to support Archer's progress, and most importantly foster independence, we're working to pair him with a special mobility service dog through 4 Paws for Ability. This dog would be a gift to our son. Not only would the dog be a physical support, particularly when he starts school, but also an emotional support to help him overcome challenges he is likely to face navigating life with a neuromuscular disorder. 

If you are able, any donation is welcome and appreciated as it'll help us reach our goal of $17,000. If you're unable to donate, we just ask that instead you do something kind for someone else and think about our guy Archie. This journey has been nothing short of miraculous and with your help we will be able to continue to foster growth and love for Archer. 

 

https://www.mightycause.com/story/Edx8cg

 

Ezra Santos

By | Make a Dream Come True

Ezra Santos is a sweet, happy, energetic 4-year-old who has an extremely rare genetic condition that is causing him to lose all his abilities. Ezra is expected to be completely wheelchair bound, unable to speak, eat, and control any of his movements within the next few years. He has seizures that will likely become harder to control and his respiratory health will decline. A service dog will have a huge impact on Ezra’s quality of life. We are so thankful that 4 Paws for Ability has approved him to receive a dog.

 

What a service dog can do for Ezra:

·         Alert parents of seizures

·         Provide comfort

·         Calm Ezra when he is upset

·         Help improve sleep by snuggling and being present

·         Provide some mobility tasks like opening doors

·         Attend appointments with Ezra

·         Form a social bridge with other kids

·         Companionship

 

How the Community Can Help

 

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000 – $60,000 to train and properly place each service dog. Their funding model is partial payment for services, meaning they cover a portion of the cost and we as a family are responsible for a service fee of $17,000, so we are asking for your help in our efforts to raise the money needed for our son to become one of the many children benefiting from a service dog.

 

Donations can be made via credit card or check:

 

1.      Credit card donations can be made directly to 4 Paws via Mighty Cause, https://www.mightycause.com/story/4pawsforezra

2.      Credit Card payment over the phone at 4 Paws by calling 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM EST, mention that your donation is for Ezra Santos.

3.      Checks can be made payable to 4 Paws for Ability with ‘Ezra Santos’ on the memo line and mailed to:

4 Paws for Ability

In Honor of Ezra Santos

207 Dayton Ave.

Xenia, Ohio 45385

 

Deklan Gerred

By | Make a Dream Come True

Mount Pleasant, MI – Deklan Gerred is a six-year-old with autism. His parents, Brianna and Wade say he is such an adventurous, colorful, excitable, daring, compassionate, and sweet little man; with a knack for living on the wild side. While living on the wild side may sound cute, it is especially dangerous as Deklan is predominantly non-verbal. He has recently started to elope from home. His family has taken all the preventive safety measures they can but would like a helping hand, or paw, in this case.

 

What the Service Dog Will Do

Not being able to verbally express himself creates a lot of frustration for him and his family. Mom, Brianna states, “It’s heartbreaking knowing there is so much going on in that brain of his and not many ways to get it all out. A service dog will help comfort Deklan, redirect him from self-injurious behaviors, deflect from meltdowns, provide deep pressure therapy, be tethered to him in public to keep him safe, and help find him if the unthinkable happens.

How the Community Can Help

It costs 4 Paws between $40,000-$60,000 to raise, train, and place a service dog. The families pay or raise a fee for service of $17,000. The family has raised some of the funds already but could use the community’s help to provide this lifesaving service dog and make Deklan’s dream come true. How to help:

 

·       Purchase a t-shirt or sweatshirt, which will make a great holiday gift:
https://www.customink.com/fundraising/deklans-service-dog-from-4pawsforability?utm_campaign=mobile-campaign-page-share&utm_content=deklans-service-dog-from-4pawsforability&utm_medium=social&utm_source=copy-link

 

·       Donate via credit card: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1158647194532967/

 

·       Donate by check: Make payable to and mail to 4 Paws for Ability, 207 Dayton Avenue, Xenia, OH 45385 and include Deklan Gerred in the memo field.

 

4 Paws for Ability Mission Statement

4 Paws for Ability strives to be the leading provider of service dogs for children regardless of disability as well as adult children with caregiver guardianship who cannot live independently. 4 Paws assists Veterans who have given selflessly to our country by providing service dogs which can assist with disabilities on a case by case basis as well as adults living with hearing loss, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s.

 

4 Paws for Ability Noteworthy Accomplishments:

·       4 Paws has placed over 1,500 service dogs around the globe over the last 22 years.

·       4 Paws was the first and is still the largest service dog agency helping kids with Autism.

·       4 Paws has received national media attention. Below is a clip of ABC World News Tonight of an Autism Assistance Dog Placement: https://www.facebook.com/WorldNewsTonight/videos/10154289918119818/?v=10154289918119818

·       4 Paws is in Episode 1 of “Dogs” on Netflix. Below is the trailer:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80191036      


Bo Van Pelt

By | Make a Dream Come True

Help Bo Get a Christmas Miracle

 

Our Get Bo a Buddy Campaign (#getboabuddy) is an Autism/FASD Service Dog fundraiser for Bonita, who goes by Bo.  Bo is an intelligent, funny, and spunky 11 year old who is a unique soul that brings creativity and kindness into the world. 

 

Bo was adopted at 3 years old and was soon after diagnosed with Autism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD). Bo struggles daily to navigate a world that is not easily understood, and gets anxious and overwhelmed easily.

 

Bo lives with her mom and two siblings who are also neurodiverse in a loving home with a multitude of supports. But, the one missing support that could help Bo at home, school, and in the community is a Service Dog trained just for Bo's needs through 4 Paws for Ability.

 

An Autism/FASD Service dog can help Bo in the following ways:

·         help with sleep by sleeping in the bed and providing sensory input

·         help prevent meltdowns by disrupting repetitive behaviors, anxiety, and self-injurious  responses through sensory input and attention

·         when a meltdown does happen the dog can help soothe Bo and support the transition back to a safe activity

·         help bridge social interactions with peers and adults who may not understand Bo's neurodiversity and be a reliable friend to Bo  

·         help Bo develop life skills and leadership responsibilities by taking care of the dog

·         help the family more successfully participate in family events and community activities by providing Bo a one-on-one support

 

How the Community Can Help

 

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000 – $60,000 to train and properly place each service dog. The funding model is partial payment for services so 4 Paws covers most of the cost; Bo’s family needs to raise $17,000! 

 

Donations can be made via credit card or check:

 

1)      Credit card donations can be made directly to 4 Paws via the Get Bo a Buddy Facebook fundraiser:  https://www.facebook.com/donate/238464574368240/

2)      Credit Card payment over the phone at 4 Paws by calling 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM EST, mention that your donation is for Bonita Van Pelt

3)       Checks can be made payable to 4 Paws for Ability with Bonita Van Pelt on the memo line and mailed to:

4 Paws for Ability

In Honor of Bonita Van Pelt

207 Dayton Ave.

Xenia, Ohio 45385

 

image.png

Martin Hulsey

By | Make a Dream Come True
Martin is a precious, loving and energetic 4 –year old who is fiercely curious about the world around him. At the age of 2, He was diagnosed with Non Verbal Autism. Martin struggles with communicating his needs and desires, socialization, and stemming behavior which includes an ever present risk of elopement and escape. Although there is no cure for Autism, with a service dog, barriers are minimized and Martin is given another tool to better manage his Autism and live his best life. We are thrilled to announce Martin has been approved to receive an Autism Service Dog through 4 Paws for Ability.

4 Paws Autism Assistance Dogs will be trained in a variety of tasks to assist Martin. These include behavior disruption to distract and disrupt repetitive behaviors or meltdowns, tethering to prevent and protect Martin from wandering, and search and rescue tracking to locate Martin if he has wandered.

An Autism Assistance Dog would benefit Martin in many ways, such as:

·         Performing deep pressure by lying across his lap when he gets upset.
·         Snuggling or giving kisses when Martin is upset and crying.
·         Improve Martin’s sleep just by being present and snuggling.
·         Using search and rescue skills to follow Martin’s scent and lead us to him, should he ever wander off.
·         Prevent wandering while out in public by being tethered to Martin.
·         Friendship.
·         Becoming a social bridge leading to incentive to communicate.
·         Assisting with transitions.
·         Teaching responsibility.

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000 – $60,000 to train and properly place each service dog. Their funding model is partial payment for services, meaning they cover a portion of the cost and we as a family are responsible for a service fee of $17,000, so we are asking for your help in our efforts to raise the money needed for our son to become one of the many children benefiting from a service animal.
If you’d like to help, donations can be made here:

**** Webpages/ Facebook

By Phone by calling
4 Paws for Ability
937-374-0385
Monday through Friday
9AM to 4PM EST.

By check please make them payable to 4 Paws for Ability and writing Martin’s full name (Martin Hulsey) on the memo line and mailing it to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Martin Hulsey
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385

https://www.mightycause.com/story/7kqoag  

Christian Stevenson

By | Make a Dream Come True

Christian is a sweet ten-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder when he was three. Christian has a love for life, his laugh is contagious, and his smile lights up the room. He loves all things nostalgic and has an enormous VHS collection. He loves John Wayne movies, classic cars, and trains.

 

Hope in a Service Dog

 

Christian has made much progress through his therapies, but there is still so much that is overwhelming for him. The tasks that his dog will be trained to help him with will be life changing for Christian, in and out of the home. 


Some of the things that Christian’s dog will be able to do for him: 

 

·         Improve his sleep at night by sleeping with him

·         Provide behavioral interventions when Christian is exhibiting repetitive or self-injurious behaviors

·         Assist in easing transitions

·         Comfort him when he is overwhelmed

·         Offer a chance to practice responsibility

·         Perform deep pressure by lying across his lap when he gets upset

·         Prevent wandering while out in public by being tethered to Christian

·         Be his friend

·         Become a social bridge

 

How the Community Can Help

 

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000 – $60,000 to train and properly place each service dog. Its funding model is partial payment for services so 4 Paws covers most of the cost; the family is responsible for a service fee of $17,000.

 

Donations can be made via credit card or check:

 

·         Credit card donations can be made directly to 4 Paws via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donate/728047834724973/

or over the phone at 4 Paws by calling 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM EST.

 

·         Checks can be made payable to 4 Paws for Ability with Christian Stevenson on the memo line and mailed to 4 Paws for Ability, 207 Dayton Ave., Xenia, OH 45385

Alexis Spaniol

By | Make a Dream Come True

Alexis Spaniol is a very sweet ten-year-old girl who loves animals, enjoys playing video games, and likes listening to music. Creative, inquisitive, intelligent, compassionate, and unique are all words her mom, Heather, uses to describe Alexis.

But Alexis has experienced hardship due to her disability. Alexis has Autism and has violent meltdowns, trouble focusing on specific topics, suffers from impulse control, and has difficulty forming relationships with other people.

Mom, Heather, describes the difficulty Alexis has, “When you see your child struggling every day, it is heartbreaking. It is so hard to see the shining, unique personality of your little girl being overtaken by anxiety, uncontrollable outbursts, and self-harming behaviors such as picking and negative self-talk.”

Hope in a Service Dog

 

Alexis’s family believes that the addition of a service dog that has been specifically bred and trained to meet Alexis's needs will serve as a valuable therapeutic tool for Alexis's intervention, at home and school. This added support will give her the independence for everyday tasks that people take for granted. Alexis has an overwhelming love for animals. Mom, Heather, elaborates, “Sometimes social/emotional communication taught by non-human counterparts can help us grow in our understanding of the world. This is just one piece of the very difficult puzzle we are trying to
piece together for her.” Alexis has been accepted by 4 Paws for Ability to receive a professionally trained Autism Assistance dog; 4 Paws specializes in training service dogs for children with disabilities, including autism. Her dog 
will be trained in behavior disruption, tethering, and tracking.

 

How the Community Can Help


It will cost 4 Paws between $40,000 – $60,000 to train Alexis's service dog and 4 Paws asks that each family raises $17,000 of that cost.  Insurance does not cover the cost of a service dog nor do local or state government programs provide any sort of financial assistance in obtaining a service dog for Alexis.

If you would like to help this young girl receive a life-saving service dog, there are three ways to help:

 

Attend a Poker Run on Saturday, September 26 at the Glacial Lakes Harley Davidson, 1000 19th Street SE, Watertown. Registration 10:30 – 11:45 AM. Kickstands up at noon. Cost $20 per hand; 2 winning hands will be paid. Route information will be provided at registration. Food will be provided at the end of the run with a free-will offering; 50/50 tickets, table auction, t-shirts, and more will also add to the fun. Plus, a 4 Paws for Ability service dog, Wishes, will be present. HickTown Mafia will be playing after the run.

 

To donate by credit card, go to: https://www.facebook.com/donate/226261262074874/ or https://4pawsforability.org/donate-now/

 

To donate by check, make payable to 4 Paws for Ability with Alexis Spaniol in the memo field and mail to 4 Paws for Ability, 207 Dayton Avenue, Xenia, OH 45385.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

AlexisS.jpg

Avery Brothers

By | Make a Dream Come True

Avery is an amazing, smart, and playful 4-year-old who is filled with joy. He was diagnosed with Nonverbal Autism and major sensory food aversions when he was just over 2 years old. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. There is no cure for Autism, however, there are a number of interventions and tools which have proven effective in helping a person with Autism. One tool can be an Autism Service Dog, which we feel is perfect for Avery based on his love for dogs. After extensive research and consideration, we decided to start the process of getting him an Autism Service Dog through 4 Paws for Ability. 

4 Paws Autism Assistance 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.

An Autism Assistance Dog would benefit Avery in many ways, such as:

  • Performing deep pressure by lying across his lap when he gets upset.

  • Snuggling or giving kisses when Avery is upset and crying.

  • Improve Avery’s sleep just by being present and snuggling.

  • Using search and rescue skills to follow Avery’s scent and lead us to him, should he ever wander off.

  • Prevent wandering while out in public by being tethered to Avery.

  • Friendship.

  • Becoming a social bridge leading to incentive to communicate.

  • Assisting with transitions.

  • Teaching responsibility.

It costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000 – $60,000 to train and properly place each service dog. Their funding model is partial payment for services, meaning they cover a portion of the cost and we as a family are responsible for a service fee of $17,000, so we are asking for your help in our efforts to raise the money needed for our son to become one of the many children benefiting from a service animal.

If you’d like to help, donations can be made here:

https://www.mightycause.com/story/Autismservicedogforavery

https://www.facebook.com/donate/397656788062673/398514814643537/

Or over the phone at 4 Paws by calling 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday 9AM to 4PM EST. If you prefer to donate by check please make them payable to 4 Paws for Ability and writing Avery’s full name (Avery Brothers) on the memo line and mailing it to:

4 Paws for Ability

In Honor of Avery Brothers

207 Dayton Ave.

Xenia, Ohio 45385

image.png


Weston Wade

By | Make a Dream Come True
Hi everyone, and thank you for reading Weston’s story. Weston is a spunky and sweet little boy who enjoys lining up his trains and trucks, collecting mail, and being outdoors! He loves exploring nature and playing outside. Weston has a condition called 2p16.3 microdeletion. This condition makes him more susceptible to autism, schizophrenia, seizures, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Weston has been diagnosed with level three autism, which is in the more significant range. While being on the autism spectrum has given Weston some wonderful qualities, such as a fantastic memory, a typical day can be difficult and exhausting for Weston to endure. Currently, Weston is five years old and doesn’t use words to communicate effectively, which can be very frustrating. In return, Weston has meltdowns and shutdowns. He also experiences sensory difficulties and is extremely rigid. Weston tends to like sameness in every aspect of his routine. New environments can be scary and cause anxiety. Lastly, Weston tries wandering frequently. He has no awareness of danger, which can be scary in itself. Weston has been approved for an autism service dog, and we couldn’t be happier! Weston’s autism assistance dog will be trained specifically for him. A service dog will provide many benefits for Weston, including…  
  • Tethering and scent tracking to provide an extra layer of security for Weston. 

  • Improve his sleep at night by giving constant comfort.  

  • Provide behavioral interventions when Weston is exhibiting repetitive or self-injurious behaviors. 

  • Assist in easing transitions.

  • Providing comfort and deep pressure when he is overwhelmed.

  • Encourage communication!

  • Offer a chance to practice responsibility. 

  • Be a friend to sweet Weston.   

We are going through an organization called 4 Paws for Ability. The average costs to breed, train, and raise a service dog is $40,000-$60,000. Although this is the full price, the families are only required to pay $17,000. We are very blessed for this opportunity. We would be extremely thankful for any donations. Weston does not try to make friends but lights up in excitement around animals. Please help us get his best friend! For any donation to go towards Weston’s service dog fee, his full name (Weston Wade) must be either written on the memo line of a check or in the description box of a donation. Donations can be sent directly to 4 Paws.


*Mail checks to:
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Put “Weston Wade” in the memo line.

* Credit card donations can be made by calling (937) 374-0385. Please call Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST if you would like to donate over the phone.

*Or you can donate on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/donate/253145006059672/253145019393004/


Tyler Dillon

By | Make a Dream Come True

Tyler was a fun loving, active and engaging middle child until Nov. 10, 2019 when he wasn’t feeling 100%. He was complaining of a headache, which was followed by vomiting and becoming lethargic.  After an MRI 3 days later, it was discovered that this was no ordinary headache and that Tyler had a brain bleed. Tyler’s condition is very rare and serious. It is called Arteriovenous Malformation(AVM). AVM is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain. Tyler’s AVM was located on his right frontal lobe, and he underwent an embolization followed by a craniotomy.  Shortly after, Tyler had a VP shunt placed for hydrocephalus(fluid in the brain). Tyler continues to attend occupational therapy and speech therapy, in order to deal with cognitive and fine motor issues. Tyler currently suffers from anxiety and depression post hospitalization, and refuses to leave the home. He no longer represents the fun loving and active little boy he use to be. He currently sees an OT, speech therapist, GI, Endocrinologist, psychiatrist, mental health therapist, and developmental pediatrician. He is at risk for seizures, return of AVM until the age of 30, and his VP shunt malfunctioning.

This brave little boy has been through so much and works so hard every single day. He is making progress through various therapies, but there are still many environments that are extremely overwhelming for him. To help open up the world for Tyler as much as possible and have peace of mind, his parents are in the process of getting him a service dog. The tasks that his service dog will be trained to perform will be life-changing and could be lifesaving for Tyler.

Here are a few of the tasks Tyler’s dog will be specifically trained to do:

  • Calming  through Deep Pressure Therapy –  His dog will be trained to provide this deep pressure for Tyler when he’s feeling anxious or depressed, as well as serve as a distraction from Tyler’s frustrations through cuddles. He will have a friend whom to share unconditional love with.
  • Assistance with getting help during symptoms-  His dog will be trained to bark when commanded “Help” if Tyler experiences symptoms of returning AVM, VP Shunt malfunction, and seizures

Tyler’s service dog is coming from 4 Paws for Ability. It costs 4 Paws an average of $50,000 to raise and properly train a service dog to perform these life-changing tasks.  The Dillon family is raising $17,000 of the total cost. To help Tyler get his lifesaving service dog, credit card gifts can be made by going to: Support Tyler’s Journey to His Companion on Mightycause (https://www.mightycause.com/story/M0941g)or www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now

*On the 4 Paws website, please be sure to include Tyler Dillon in the description box on the second check-out page. Credit card donations can also be made over the phone at 4 Paws by calling 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM EST.

To donate by check, please make checks out to 4 Paws for Ability and write on the check memo line – Tyler Dillon and mail to:

4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Tyler Dillon
207 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385.

Thank you for your consideration.

image.png
Top