Via Fox News:
A 6-year-old Michigan boy with Type 1 diabetes has exceeded his $20,000 fundraising goal after his pumpkin patch effort to raise money for a service dog went viral.
Ian Unger, a kindergarten student at McNaughton Elementary School, requires constant supervision for his insulin levels and was told that he couldn’t ride the bus anymore without an aide, WZZM reported.
According to Ian’s mother, Katrina Christensen, the family’s request for an aide was denied, so the district planned to put him “on an empty bus by himself and take him to school after school starts.”
Christensen said her son was devastated that he couldn’t ride the bus with his friends. So the family came up with a plan to get their Ian a service dog who could act as a companion and alert him to emergencies.
“A service dog for a diabetic alerts the person to their blood sugars about 45 minutes before your blood sugar will show up on the meter,” Christensen told the news outlet.
But the average wait time for a diabetic service dog is around 6 months to a year, with costs typically determined by the patient’s needs.
To help move the process along, Christensen took Ian’s mission to Facebook and set up a pumpkin patch fundraiser, advertising pumpkins for just $5. She shared that Ian was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just one week shy of turning 4, when he started slurring his words and was hardly able to stand. He was rushed to the hospital and placed in ICU where doctors discovered that he was experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which could lead to a diabetic coma.