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A Service Dog for Nicholas

We were introduced to Nicholas thanks to a Cherish the Children Foundation Volunteer.

Nicholas is a vibrant 5 year old boy with Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system and is characterized by learning disability and developmental delays as well as a variety of types of seizures and problems with movement, balance, falls and being disoriented. He needs constant attention. At night, Nicholas has difficulty sleeping and wakes the household up at all hours of the night so that he is not alone. His bedroom is set up as a safe room with padding on the walls, no furniture with the exception of a bed, and shelves which are bolted to the wall and filled with only stuffed animals and soft toys. His parents have 2 monitors to watch and hear him in his bedroom.

The family is confident that a trained service dog would provide Nicholas with safety and protection. If he has a seizure, or is in harm’s way, the dog can alert the family. Service dogs are trained to assist their companion during seizures as well as daily activities. A trained dog can help keep Nicholas away from stairs, counters, or something that is dangerous to him. Nicholas will gain independence, growth, health and hope with this gift in his life.

For the past two years, the family has been working hard to raise the funds necessary to obtain a service dog for Nicholas. However, despite the efforts of the family and friends, only half of the cost has been covered. Cherish the Children Foundation has granted to the family the remaining funds necessary to obtain a service dog for Nicholas, as well as travel expenses associated with the training session for the family. After a very long wait for the perfect match of a companion dog the family traveled to Ohio to meet and train with Nicholas` dog.

“Galen “Lenny” is so incredible. He’s so gentle and sweet. It (the training) was such an incredible experience and we are so appreciative of everything and everyone at your foundation for making this possible for us. Our family is truly blessed. Thank you so much.”

Marcy Kelly