Project Grace — Reed's Next Step
Time & Location
About the Event
Reed is an 8 year old in our community and has been approved to get a mobility service dog AND to raise awareness about his rare condition - Transverse Myelitis.
Transverse Myelitis is not common and many have never heard of it. Reed's parents had never heard of it either - until August 2015. When Reed was 5 months old, he was diagnosed with this terrible disease. It was the beginning of a difficult journey for him, his parents, siblings, and the whole family. The diagnosis of any disease can be devastating. When it’s a rare disease that has had very little research, few known treatments, no known cure, and an uncertain long-term prognosis, the horror becomes very real.
Understanding paralysis and how much of daily life is affected was an adjustment for everyone. It goes beyond seeing the person in a wheelchair and not being able to move. It goes beyond realizing they can’t feel your touch when you pat their leg. What about the mosquito bite on their leg they can’t scratch, because it doesn’t itch? They don’t know if their pants are slipping off as they army-crawl around the house. They don’t know if their feet are chilled and need socks on. Even daily basic hygiene is a challenge. Try teaching a toddler to brush their teeth and rinse their mouth when they have to sit on the side of the sink with you holding them up. Some days, the list seems endless, and as Reed gets older, there are always new challenges to face.
However, we serve a mighty God. We trust He has a purpose and a plan for Reed’s life. It has been the family's prayer that as he continues this journey, God will use him in the lives of others. God does not fail! Although his life is not easy, he faces each day with a spirit that amazes everyone who knows him. He has the most inquisitive mind, quick wit, sweetest laugh, and the biggest heart.
God has now opened the door to help Reed take the next “step” of his journey. He has been approved for a mobility service dog through the CARES organization and is scheduled to go to Kansas in March 2024 to meet his companion. (It just so happens, he will actually receive this blessing on his 9th birthday! No such thing as coincidence!)
This dog will be a significant life change for Reed and act as his arms and legs for many basic daily tasks. These specially trained dogs can…
- pull a wheelchair
- assist in transferring in and out of the chair
- retrieve items big or small — something as small as a dime, as delicate as a tissue, and as heavy as a 5 lb shopping bag!
- place items in a person’s hands, on a surface (like a counter), or in a basket
- turn on and off light switches
- tug open doors, refrigerators, cabinet doors and drawers
- push buttons – for elevators, accessible doors, pedestrian walkways, and doorbells
- unzip and tug off clothing
- adjust blankets and bedding
- find help in cases of emergency
- and so many other things that many of us take for granted every day.
The change this dog will make in Reed’s quality of life is immeasurable but very expensive. That’s why we are asking for help in raising the money needed to make this a reality. Any donation is appreciated, and prayers are appreciated even more. Again, this is more than just about raising the necessary funds but also to help raise awareness about this rare disease. Please pray for continued research. Pray for a cure!
Finally, pray that Reed continues to grow in faith and never gives up on believing in miracles!