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Donations Sought for Diabetic Alert Dog for Brokaw Student

Mar 16, 2015 04:53PM ● By Steven Jack

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Brokaw Early Learning Center student Ryan Phillips is a fun, energetic, loving 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was just 20 months old. 

The auto-immune disease developed in Ryan while he was sick, and trying to fight off a virus. In the process of making antibodies to fight the virus, Ryan’s body attacked itself, killing off the insulin producing beta cells in his pancreas. Since Ryan is no longer able to make insulin on his own, he has an insulin pump that he wears 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Sadly, there is not yet a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. This is a disease that needs to be monitored carefully on a daily basis. While Type 1 Diabetes is manageable, there are dangerous and life threatening situations that can occur if Ryan’s blood sugar gets too high or drops extremely low. 

A Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) would help assist Ryan in maintaining a safe and healthy blood sugar. When blood sugar levels get too high or too low, the body produces an odor that a dog can smell. Diabetic Alert Dogs are scent trained to detect these smells and alert the person, therefore possibly preventing any life threatening situations from occurring. 

Being so young, Ryan is unable to understand what it feels like when his blood sugar goes too high or too low. These are conditions known as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) unawareness and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) unawareness. For these reasons, a Diabetic Alert Dog would be a great addition in Ryan’s life. “Ryan’s Helping Hands” is a campaign trying to raising money to help Ryan obtain his Diabetic Alert Dog. 

If you are interesting in helping Ryan and his family with a donation, please visit