Boy With Diabetes Saves Up Thousands For A Service Dog
Eight-year-old Aiden Heath learned the value of a penny, and that “every penny counts,” when he started saving up for a service dog… when the boy was only 4 years old.
At age 3, Aiden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and, shortly thereafter, he learned that service dogs can help. Hint: They help monitor glucose levels by smelling one’s skin and detecting if their blood sugar has dropped—and even thirty minutes before a meter would see the change. (Amazing, right?)
“All diabetic parents are up two, three and four times a night checking their kids’ blood sugar,” Jenny Heath, Aiden’s mother, told The Valley Reporter. “Aiden’s is up and with no rhyme or reason… As his mom, I never stop thinking about his numbers. I think about it all the time and he thinks about it all the time.”
And if Aiden’s blood sugar drops at night while he’s sleeping? The service dog can jump on him to wake him and/or alert the family, according to The Valley Reporter.
So Jenni told Aiden to start saving his pennies, the Good News Network reports. And he’d need a lot of them, since service dogs cost a pretty penny (pun intended): over $15,000.
But Aiden took her advice and started saving.
“Everything he got for his allowance, his birthday, Christmas, all went into his dog fund,” Jenni said, according to The Valley Reporter.
By April 2016, Aiden had saved approximately $6,000… all in change.
His story started to receive national news attention, and his GoFundMe page went up to over $20,000. As of this writing, Aiden’s GoFundMe page has raised $22,379 (his goal was $12,000).
And, yes, Aiden was finally able to get his service dog.
Here he is taking his money to the bank.
And here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for—meet Angel, Aiden’s new chocolate Labrador.
Here’s the happy pair, Aiden with Angel.
How did Aiden feel about reaching his goal, and then some?
“Aiden looked at me and said, ‘This is a dream,’” Jenni told WABC. “We have been so amazed by the outpouring of support. He is feeling the love. … There are no words.”
“As they say, ‘every penny counts,’ and I want to thank everyone for it,” Aiden told ABC News.
Thank you Aiden, for inspiring us all.
You can watch more about Aiden’s story here.