Meet Kate

Kate at the park.Kate is a smart 7-year-old who loves to read, dance and play with her friends. She loves school, swimming and art. When she was 2-years-old, Kate, who was buckled into her car seat, surprised her mom when she said, “Mommy, that sign says ‘stop.’”

Kate was already beginning to read.

Unfortunately, the precocious little girl, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of 5, has to constantly be aware of her own body and the cues it gives her about her blood-sugar level.

If her sugar level is high, Kate becomes hyperactive, making choices that are not always safe or in her best interest. If her sugar level is low, she is lethargic and faint, and she becomes uncontrollably emotional. Kate is aware of what is happening, but is not able to control what is happening to her.

Both extremes are dangerous and life threatening and both extremes cause her to need medical intervention immediately. And both extremes can lead to death if Kate misreads the cues or ignores them or if she simply does not feel them.

Sleep is the most dangerous time for a Type I Diabetic because the blood sugar can drop perilously low and the diabetic is not even aware of it. Kate’s father checks her blood sugar every three hours during the night.

A Diabetic Alert Dog, who would sense abnormal blood sugar levels long before Kate began exhibiting symptoms, is the answer to Kate and her family’s prayers.

With your help, Kate is looking forward to meeting her new companion…. She’s already named him Sprinkels.

About Type I Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which the body begins to attack its own pancreas and compromises the pancreas’ ability to create insulin.

Insulin is a chemical that is essential to break down glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream and convert it into energy. Type 1 Diabetics take periodic injections of artificial insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels.

People with Type 1 Diabetes are prone to rollercoaster highs and lows which occur because it can be difficult to maintain the proper ratio between the glucose travelling through the bloodstream and the amount of insulin needed to break down into energy by the body’s cells. Too much glucose or insulin can produce a number of potential adverse effects, ranging from symptoms as minor as hyperactivity and lethargy to more profound results such as coma and death.

Kate wears an insulin pump. If she eats any food containing sugar or starch—even something as healthy as an apple or serving of mashed potatoes—someone has to figure out the number of carbohydrates she is consuming so that Kate can dial the insulin required on her pump.

There is currently no cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

What is a Diabetic alert dog?

Diabetic Alert Dogs are so highly trained that they can detect when their companion is beginning a blood sugar high or low 40 minutes before the companion begins to exhibit symptoms.

The dogs have a 99 percent detection rate and cost $19,000.  The high cost is due to the extensive training the dog receives and continues to receive after it is matched with a family.

The dog would be specifically trained for Kate.  It will know if she is beginning to trend high or low and will alert Kate, or an adult who can help her, before the dramatic signs begin.

Kate’s life-saving companion would give her freedom away from home, lessen her anxiety, and allow her and her dad to sleep through the night without worry.  Sprinkels—the name Kate has already given her dog—will be on guard, watching over her while she plays, learns, sleeps and grows.