Chickadee

***Edited on 1/6: As of 5:00 PM today, the blogging community has raised $2600 toward Eva’s Therapy Dog! Combined with Journey Beyond Survival’s personal family and friend contributions, we are now within $2000 of getting that dog. WILL YOU HELP US CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD? ***

***Edited on 1/6 to add: As of 1:00 PM today, we’re ALMOST HALFWAY THERE! Since yesterday morning, you all have raised well over $2000, and that total is still climbing. Thank you for your generosity, interest, support and love! ***

Meet Evalyn. Some of you might know her by the name Chickadee.

Evalyn is 3, just like my Thing Two. She’s like most 3 year olds – bright and funny and boisterous and curious. She is potty training. Loves being read to. Has favorite shows she loves to watch. Goes to school.

But there is something about Evalyn that makes her unique. She has Rett Syndrome. This means a lot of things (which her ever so eloquent mother, the woman behind Journey Beyond Survival, could explain to you in glorious detail) but what it boils down to is this: she has a severe, progressive neurological disorder that causes a lack of muscle tone and a lack of head growth and eventually a (or a series of) developmental regressions.

And my friend Journey Beyond Survival? Well, she’s the mommy. So that means she loves her daughter fiercely, and it also means she carries the burdens of her daughter’s challenges not only withdetermination and perserverance, but also with sadness, worry, and guilt.

Like any mommy, Journey Beyond Survival is trying to do everything within her power to give her girl all the tools and opportunities she needs to thrive. Sometimes that means making the tough decisions, like she did recently when deciding it was time to go forward with the placing of a g-tube. Sometimes that means going to school with her for days in order to teach the teachers how to communicate with her. Sometimes it means asking your friends, your friends of friends, and even perfect strangers to help you.

See, Evalyn needs a Therapy Dog.

A Therapy Dog will help her with socialization. A dog can alert somebody if Evalyn asipirates, or if she has some kind of stress (it is difficult for her to vocalize when she is experiencing stress).  And? The whole family would love him.

Unfortunately, this is not as easy as picking out the most adorable mutt at the pound. Therapy Dogs are special; they require a certain disposition and a ton of training and also, they are very expensive. And not covered by insurance.

A Therapy Dog for Evalyn will cost them $6000.

Whoa, right?

Well, except that all $6000 means is asking 600 people to donate $10.

Ten Dollars.

So, JBS set up a page through Firstgiving.com and is asking us to do just that. And? So am I.

Look, I know we’re all broke and the economy is bad and we just got through Christmas. Times are tough for sure. But you know what else I know?

I know that people like to be helpful, but sometimes they just don’t know how, or they don’t feel like their efforts will make a difference. Coming up with $10 (or $5, or $11, or whatever) to give toward a Therapy Dog for Evalyn? Will make a difference.

I know how many unique hits I get every week on this blog. I know exactly what impact all of you could have on this goal. The question is will you?

Evalyn is one of those special people that, once you fall under her spell, she takes your breath away. She’s an old soul in this little body. She has an affect on everyone around her. She’s beautiful. Amazing. Determined. Astonishing. Real.

So, I’m asking. Will you give a few dollars to help fund Chickadee’s therapy dog? Will you?

You can follow the family’s story by reading her mom’s blog Journey Beyond Survival. You can keep up with her quest to bring home her doggy companion on Facebook here. And make your donation here.

Thank you, everybody. Thank. You.

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