We’re helping our dear friend, Sara

Hello Friends!

If there’s one thing we know about the people of Wisconsin, it’s that they have some of the biggest hearts of anyone anywhere. This is especially true of Milwaukee.Milwaukeeans have hearts the size of Texas (and, let’s be honest, better beer).

You know her. You love her.

We know you want to help. And she could use a little right now.

After several months with increasing epileptic episodes and the continued weakness, incapacitating pain, and mobility challenges due to her related neurological conditions, our dear friend, @sarasantiago, was encouraged to apply to a service dog training and placement organization. After completing the application process, Sara and her extended family participated in an interview with the organization, and she was accepted into the program.

A Seizure and Mobility Assistance Dog will keep Sara safe both during and after a seizure. It will be trained to alert someone nearby or to use a specialized “phone” to dial a pre-programmed number if she is alone, and bring her its special vest that may hold a prepaid cell phone, medication and anything else Sara might need. The dog will also be trained to keep Sara from physically putting herself in an unsafe situation. (It is possible for Sara to continue walking during certain types of seizures, albeit in an altered state of consciousness.) It will be able to assist her in getting up from a lying down or seated position, help to stabilize her when she is having a bad balance day, and will be trained to retrieve things for her, should she be too weak to do it on her own.

For her safety, we want Sara to receive this incredible dog as soon as possible.

This is where you come in.

Seizure and Mobility Assistance Dogs are highly trained and expensive. They go through up to two years of specialized training before they are able to be placed with someone in need.

It is the goal of the organization providing Sara’s service dog is that all dogs are placed at no cost to the disabled handler. “We understand the importance of adding a service dog to your life. We would never want finances to be the deciding factor. Each dog’s training, medical, and boarding comes to an average of $10,000.00, which is covered through fundraising efforts for the organization.”

Your contribution will help cover the cost of training, boarding and medical care for Sara’s service dog while it is going through its rigorous preparation to assist Sara, as well as airfare and a hotel room for the family while they work with the professional handlers for two weeks to transfer the service dog into Sara’s care as its new handler.

Please consider opening your hearts (and your wallets, duh).

We can’t do this without you.

In the words of Sara, We’ll eat you up, we love you so.

We know Sara has touched the lives of so many people in this community. It’s time for this community to do whatever it can to support her.

If you have a few (or a lot) of dollars to spare, please consider contributing to this campaign. Every little bit will get Sara one step closer to receiving the incredible gift of this service dog.  Visit http://www.bit.ly/sarassidekick to contribute.

Any and all questions regarding Sara’s Sidekick should go directly through Kate Barrie (kdbarrie@gmail.com) and Amy Kant (amykant@gmail.com).

Now, what are you waiting for? Let’s bring Sara’s Sidekick to Milwaukee!

– Kate Barrie & Amy Kant

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