Dog will help local boy deal with diabetes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Dog will help local boy deal with diabetes

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There's a community effort underway to help a young Monroe County boy who was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Little Ryan Chmura is hoping to get an alert dog. The cost of the dog is $16,000. He's a yellow Lab that is now being trained in Texas and he's scheduled to arrive in Ida this May. It looks like that's going to happen thanks to the kindness of friends, family and even complete strangers.

Ryan Chmura is just like most 8 year old boys. He loves playing with his family and his dog Charlie. Last December Ryan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, "It's been rough. Sometimes I get headaches and I start shaking." His mother Melissa is very proud of the way he has handled the diagnosis,"There sure have been tough days but Ryan is a happy kid and he has a positive outlook. He has a strong faith in God so he has prayed a lot. He has days where it doesn't bother him, he's just regular happy Ryan and then there are days where we are sitting there talking about something and he just starts crying."

Ryan now has to do things many adults would have difficulty dealing with. Ryan's lifelines are all in this bag, "What does this tell you? How many units of hemoglobin I get." He gets seven shots of insulin a day, "All I do is poke my finger and squeeze it to get blood out and then I put the test strip in the machine. There is an emergency shot so if my levels get too low and I pass out and I can't swallow my glucose tablets, they just inject the shot."

This Spring he's getting another four legged friend to help him, "I love dogs, I'm a dog person. I just love all animals." Melissa says the dog is trained to alert to highs and lows in his blood sugar levels especially at night when Ryan could sleep through some of the symptoms, "If the dog can't get Ryan's attention he is trained to go get the closest adult and alert us. He is also trained to go get the insulin and juice box if for some reason Ryan can't."

Ryan already has a name picked out, "The name came to me while I was praying and I thought about angels and the first angel that came to mind was Gabriel." Ryan's parents say those who have stepped in to help have been their angels, "It has been heart warming and overwhelming to see how many people are willing to jump in and help. Thank you and God bless you!"

There's a benefit dinner to help pay for Gabe Saturday night at the VFW Hall in Petersburg, MI. It starts at 6 PM and there will be auctions, raffles, dinner and dancing!If you can't make it and you still want to help you can also make a donation at any Monroe Bank and Trust branch in Ryan's name. On a side note, they're sending swabs and T-shirts from Ryan to Texas for Gabe to be trained with.

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