After Collecting Coins for Four Years, 8-Year-Old Diabetic Finally Has His Service Dog
Lifestyle| | By Brian Delpozo
After four years of collecting pennies, an 8-year-old-boy has finally gotten the service dog he desperately desired.
Four years ago Aiden Heath was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As they studied his condition, Aiden and his family discovered that there are dogs trained to monitor glucose levels in diabetic people.
Aiden’s mother Jenni Heath previously explained, “They can sense it 20 minutes to 30 minutes before the blood meter actually tells you that you’re low.”
The family desperately wanted one, but the $15,000 price tag stood in the way. An undaunted Aiden took his mother’s advice of “save every penny” to heart, collecting so many pennies that the little red wagon he transported them in became known as “Brinks.”
By this past April, Aiden had assembled nearly $6,000 in coins. His story was covered by several news outlets, which in turn led donations to come pouring in from all over the country. Within days, over $20,000 had been raised and the Heaths put a down payment on a service dog.
After months of training, Angel, a chocolate Labrador, was delivered to the Heath’s home earlier this week.
Jenni Heath told ABC of the arrival, “Aiden is over the moon, he was on pins and needles waiting for her.”
With the help of a trainer, Aiden and Heath have been getting to know each other, as well as environments such as the boy’s school that they’ll need to navigate.
Jenni Heath, who hopes the dog’s presence will help Aiden gain a new sense of independence, was feeling grateful for the way everything played out.
“We have been so amazed by the outpouring of support,” she said. “He is feeling the love… There are no words.”