Sophia’s Campaign for Independence
and a Lifesaving Companion
Thank you for your interest in Sophia’s story! Sophia is an 18-year-old girl who works in a coffee shop and loves the beach! She’s currently pursuing her associate’s degree at State College of Florida, and hopes to move away to continue her education, eventually becoming an occupational therapist.
But that’s not as easy as it sounds. While other teens are eager to leave home, Sophia is hesitant. She was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in 2011, and while Sophia has learned to live with the disease and manage life with an insulin pump, controlling her blood sugar levels can still be difficult. Currently, Sophia has the comfort of her family’s care and concern, but who would watch over her when she goes off to college and is on her own?
That’s where you come in! Operation Patriot Support is spearheading this campaign to raise the necessary funds to provide Sophia with a Diabetic Assistance Dog. Sophia’s father is a current longtime member of local law enforcement who also served in the United States Air Force. It is our mission to serve our community’s first responders.
Diabetic Assistance Dogs provide continuous blood glucose monitoring, leading to more independent lives and comfort with tighter blood sugar control. How does a dog do this? They are trained in scent detection techniques to identify changes that occur in human body odor when blood sugar levels move above or below normal ranges. The dogs alert their diabetic partners so they can take measures to regain normal blood sugar levels. They will persistently alert until blood sugar is back to normal levels, to ensure the safety of minimally responsive partners in diabetic crisis. They will also seek assistance from other people if their diabetic partner is non-responsive.
After much research, Sophia’s team of supporters chose to work with Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws, a nonprofit organization that trains and places assistance dogs. Sophia’s dog would be with her at all times, trained to be unobtrusive in public settings and permitted to accompany her everywhere per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Please help us provide Sophia with a continuously on-duty partner, so she can feel more in control of her diabetes and begin a life of independence.
Our Goal: $25,000 for a fully trained Diabetic Assistance Dog, all training and expenses for Sophia and her parents at Eyes, Ears, Nose & Paws – the organization that specializes in this type of K-9 training.
Our time line: We have Sophia on the waiting list now and hope to have full funding by spring of 2018