Brookfield family raising money for diabetic alert dog
Carole Meekins, Stephanie Graham
BROOKFIELD - Whether it's playing basketball with his family, or being a doting big brother. 12-year-old Nathan Hatch tries to live a normal life.
"It's hard," Nathan admits.
You see, 2 years ago Nathan was diagnosed with Addison's Disease and Diabetes--a combination that can be deadly if his blood sugar levels aren't constantly monitored.
"We've had multiple times at the hospital, we've had seizures," Nathan's mom Cynthia recalls. Nathan adds, "It's been like an adventure. Sometimes hard."
The whole family is trained as first responders--in case Nathan goes into a severe attack.
Nathan's dad Dave explains, "
When he wants to ride his bike or anything he has to have someone with him--almost like a non-stop buddy system throughout the day."
A constant worry hangs over the family.
"Dave and I check him, 2-3 times a night, because, you know... we worry, that when we go in the morning.. we won't be able to bring him back," Cynthia says.
Now--new hope for Nathan! The family is working to buy an alert dog named Sunny from the National Institute For Diabetic Alert Dogs based in California.
Ed Peoples is a trainer with the organization. He explains. "What they do is actually detect high and low blood sugars with their nose. When they detect a high or low, they'll come over, and we teach them to paw at their person."
The only problem? The dogs cost $18,000. Each dog is trained specifically to the diabetic patient's scent, and take up to 6 months to train.
Cynthia recently started a donation site to help the family buy the dog, and some independence for Nathan.
"I just hope this'll make him feel safer, and not be worried so much about what he's doing physically, and be able to be more a kid," she says.
Nathan can't wait to meet his new best friend. "Just overwhelmed.. so excited," he exclaims.