Meet our Clients that are waiting for a Service Dog.
Jacinda Marko shares many qualities with every other typical 12 year old girl: loves her kitty, is crazy for horses, spends hours giggling with her friends. What sets her apart, however, is epilepsy. For over 5 years, Jacinda and her mom & sisters, have maintained a high state of readiness in case Jacinda has another seizure. Her teachers and school mates are aware and mostly kind, but there is still teasing and mocking that accentuates less positive aspects of Jacinda’s “uniqueness”. Occasionally, a seizure results in real injury or life threatening situations.
Jacinda is looking forward to receiving a service dog that will respond to her seizures. We are preparing a dog to ATTEND Jacinda during her seizures so she feels less vulnerable until she recovers, to GET HELP from mom or older sisters when seizures strike at home; and to BRACE in response to Jacinda’s pre-seizure verbal cue, “Hold Me”, and again as she regains her composure.
Jacinda has adapted and adjusted to the unpredictability of life with epilepsy. She is looking forward to the security and dependability of a service dog to walk this path with as she grows in independence.
I am a retired school teacher. Partial pension. Messed up spine. Chronic pain.
I have applied for a Service dog to help me with balance and retrieval of items I have difficulty reaching either high or low and companionship because I live alone and chronic pain causes depression and therefore inability at times to leave my cabin. The dog will help me and force action from me to get up and move. The Canine Support organization has accepted my application and they have found a dog for me.
Training with that dog begins October 7th and lasts 2 weeks. The support team requires payment of $6500.00 by the end of that 2 week session.
Will you please help me? I don’t have the money and your assistance will be a blessing. My heart goes out to you for your generosity.
Lisa (Kus) D'Andrea
“It’s the first time in 19 years I’ve been without a dog. The last 9 months without Burgess have really left me without a buffer for stress of daily life. I post this not to make anyone sad, but as a tribute to all the joy, silliness, and love dogs bring to our lives.”
This was one of Lisa’s recent Facebook posts. Her beloved Service Dog, BURGESS, died in February and she feels his absence every day. Living with Muscular Dystrophy has not stopped Lisa from seeking and enjoying an active and athletic lifestyle. She has done adaptive-skiing for many seasons and enjoys accessible hiking. Living in the Sierra Nevada mountain region affords her many opportunities to be out-of-doors and, until recently, always with Burgess by her side.
“What I miss most is the bond of love and affection, touching him, gazing into his sometimes silly face. Having Burgess was the reason I got out on the trails & in the wilderness – which are so therapeutic for me both physically and emotionally. Without him, I haven’t been out there much at all. Since moving to Reno, Burgess & I formed many friendships. He was a link for me to engage and participate with able-bodied people in so many activities.
My six-word Bio: ‘Left wheelchair, found mountaintop, skied down.”‘
No dog will ever replace Burgess – each relationship is one-of-a-kind. But Lisa is ready to re-engage with a new partner, a SUCCESSOR Service Dog, and resume the activities she loves.
Kathy Adams and *STAR*
One of the most difficult experiences is being helpless to ease the suffering of a loved one. Whether a spouse, a child or a beloved animal, there is little we would not do to help them be whole and well.
STAR is a faithful, loving Service Dog to her partner Kathy, who relies on STAR daily to help her live with debilitating seizures. Recently, Kathy received crushing news that STAR requires life-saving surgery. This expensive procedure is beyond Kathy’s means, making the situation even worse. So, she turned to CST and our supporters for help. Your donation will ensure STAR receives the medical care she needs and Kathy will have her partner in independence by her side for years to come.
In 2016, Justice Walsh was a typical 18 year old with plans. He was set to attend college and study Art & Music. He loved playing guitar. In a flash, everything changed. Justice was a passenger in a vehicle struck by a drunk driver. He sustained serious head injuries that radically altered his plans forever. The doctors’ prognosis was grim, but they could not quantify Justice’s fighting spirit. Despite multiple surgeries and complications, Justice not only survived, he re-learned to talk, eat, walk (with assistance); he relies on a wheelchair for mobility. He continues to enjoy his music and be creative.
His mom calls him “Ironman” for his courage & determination, not to mention the battery pack in his chest to help control seizures.
“I would say what I admire most in Justice is his determination; he never gives up. He has such a positive attitude and cheers people up wherever he goes and warm people’s hearts. The doctors gave him only 3% chance of survival and yet he continues to amaze them and prove them wrong.”
~ Angela Sullivan, Justice’s mom
A service dog for Justice will help him overcome his partial paralysis and loss of mobility. Justice still has plans and the determination to make them happen.
Melissa was a busy, involved mother of four, despite struggling with symptoms of undiagnosed conditions. Like many moms, self-care took a backseat to caring for her family. Melissa’s aches & pains, numbness, and loss of muscle control yielded conflicting test results and ambiguous diagnoses.
After many years of working at Von’s. Melissa sustained a serious OJT back injury. She says that incident “woke the beast” and all her chronic conditions symptoms became severe. Her conditions were finally identified as a series of auto-immune disorders and Complex PTSD that affect her brain function, memory, digestion, metabolism, equilibrium, muscle control. Doctors agree that she has likely suffered from flare-ups of alternating conditions since her mid-20s. Since the back injury and subsequent unsuccessful surgery, the myriad conditions ALL seem to be active at once.
Melissa still enjoys the fellowship and support of her family – welcoming them to her home for celebrations, holidays, and gatherings. Melissa maintains an upbeat spirit and attitude, along with her self-deprecating sense of humor. Of her memory issues she says, “I make Dory look GOOD!” Her hope is to once again enjoy walks on the beach with her husband, Mike, AND with a trusty Service Dog by her side.