My dad was diagnosed with a form of Mitochondrial Myopathy over 10 years ago. This incurable disease causes prominent muscle and neurological problems such as muscle weakness, trouble with balance and coordination, decreased energy, and potential liver failure. The day to day tasks that we find so easy and take for granted are an extreme challenge for him. Something as simple as having the strength and dexterity to get out of bed, turn on a light or the coordination to pick something up off a table or the floor can be beyond his ability.
My dad is a very humble man, has never asked for any help from anyone and is always putting others needs before his even while dealing with such a debilitating disease. I have watched him go from someone who could take me to the beach to watch the sunrise and play in the waves, to someone who is only able to watch the sunrise from his bed.
I have recently discovered a wonderful organization that provides service canines to those in need. Canine Support Teams (www.caninesupportteams.org) provide and train service dogs for all types of people in need, like my dad. They match the dogs' training and abilities to the individual's specific needs. A service dog would be able to assist my dad with getting out of bed, walking, manipulating his wheel chair, opening doors, as well as retrieve items and help him accomplish the daily tasks, serving like an extension of himself. I believe a service dog would help lift his spirits by being a companion and friend that he knew he could rely on. Unfortunately, my dad is on a fixed income and cannot afford to purchase one of these specialized dogs for himself. I am currently putting myself through nursing school while working part-time and do not have the funds available to make this possible for him on my own.
I would give anything to find a cure for this horrible disease and at this time a service dog is the closest I can come to assisting my dad in obtaining a more normal life and regaining his independence. I would greatly appreciate any donations made towards the purchase of a service dog that would make such a significant difference in my dad's life.