Local Fire Crew Raising Money for Girl’s Service Dog

Leah O’Kelly, Sydnee’s mom said, “I’m blown away by all the help. It’s very humbling.”

Sydnee O’Kelly from Spokane, Washington has a rare disorder that can complicate her and her family’s life considerably.  Having Dravet Syndrome causes extreme bouts of seizures, even while she is sleeping.  Her mother knows that a service dog can detect these seizures, sometimes far before they happen.  However with all of the medical expenses and everything else that goes into keeping a family financially afloat, the cost of one is just out of their reach.

So when the Crew of Fire Station 13, they did what comes naturally to these often times self sacrificing people, and came to Sydnee’s rescue.  Knowing that a service dog is very expensive, they have set out to raise enough money to get her a dog that will be far more than just a little girl’s best friend.

Sydnee’s family has set up a GoFundMe.com page to help, but the crew at the fire station are doing everything that they can think of to help.  They have started a clothing drive called Clothes for the Cause.  For every pound of textiles donated, money is given back to the fund for the service dog.  The goal is to have a total of 250 large bags of clothes by May 2nd.

Fire station member Brian Schaeffer said, “My hope is that we can make the $10,000 goal so that they’ll be able to go, get the dog, marry them up and have a really good life together.”

For now, the campaign is still on.  There may not yet be a cure for Dravet Syndrome, but the amazing people that are members of Fire Station 13 know that with this service dog, a little girl can live a bit easier.  If you’d like to donate to Sydnee’s fundraiser, you can click here to go to the GoFundMe page.

Sydnee’s family is just overwhelmed with the amount of support that they have received, both from the community and from Fire Station 13.  Sydnee is even an honorary member of the firehouse, and gets to visit their with the fellow firefighters regularly.

Leah O’Kelly, Sydnee’s mom said, “I’m blown away by all the help.  It’s very humbling.”

4.30.15 - Sydnee1

8 thoughts on “Local Fire Crew Raising Money for Girl’s Service Dog

  1. I am a Seizure Alert dog for my mommie. Currently, I am having neck issues because I was attacked by a mean man. My mom has a lot in information about what I do, what to consider when getting a dog & how to interact publically. Please contact us by clicking on “contact organizer” at gofundme.com/helpKeikilani. My mommie can talk to your mommie. It is not known how to train a dog to provide Seizure Alert. I’m rare, and it’s a long story. But, a dog is absolutely a life necessity. Good luck and know we are praying for you and here for you if you want to contact us.

    1. You don’t train a dog to detect seizures. Either they do or they don’t (like teaching a non-pointer breed to point, it has to be inherent in them to even realize it). But what they can do is teach a dog who alerts on seizures HOW to alert so that the owner knows what it is detecting and how to respond. Whether that be sitting on the owner’s chest to wake them up, barking, squealing, or getting in your face, whatever that action is that is the “alert”, that’s what they teach them. Mine either squeals like crazy if I’m not paying attention to her, gets in my face if I am, or paws at me and whines if I’m asleep. I didn’t know she alerted until my other dog started having them, and she would squeal and then I’d turn around and he would start seizing. Then she started alerting on me, so I went to the doctor and found out I was having them, too. I don’t have many any more, but I used to have them all the time. The trick is finding the right dog seizure alert dog that you have that special bond with, that special intimate relationship where you can communicate with just a look. Once that bond is there, you have yourself a winner.

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