(Peyton and her 4 siblings)


Peyton’s Story

On July 17th , 2018 it will be 5 years since Peyton was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a life threatening auto immune disease where her body’s own immune system attacked and destroyed the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, leaving her body insulin-dependent for life. The weeks leading up to her diagnoses were difficult. We had little knowledge about the disease and did not recognize all the “warning signs” associated with it. Peyton had become irritable and withdrawn from her siblings. She was frail and weak due to her body being in starvation mode and not receiving any nutrients.

I carried our birthday girl…it was her 6th birthday…into the doctor’s office and her numbers were off the meter! The doctor said the words I will never forget, “Peyton has Type 1 Diabetes!” Tears rolling down my face I knew her little life was going to change forever! Of course, little did I know how much it was about to change. I immediately took her to the ER while he called to tell them we were on our way. I rushed her into the hospital and they started a fluid and insulin IV. She was picked up by ambulance and taken a couple hours away to a specialized pediatric hospital trained in care for diabetic pediatric patients. She spent a few days in the hospital and we spent that time learning how to calculate ratios and inject her with insulin. Leaving the hospital I felt as if I was bringing her home as a newborn all over again! Her life, and mine, consists of constant sugar monitoring, carb counting, pump site changes, Dexcom site changes, late night checks, phone calls, clinics and more. Through it all she has been so brave and I could not be more proud of her and love her even more today! We are so grateful her life was spared!

The task of checking Peyton’s blood sugar levels is easy compared to constant concern that Peyton’s blood sugars may go too low or too high. Her target blood sugar range is 80-140 during the day and 100-180 at night. However, at any given time, her blood sugar may be 60 or lower and then make its way up to 350 or greater. It’s nearly impossible to keep this tight control. So many factors influence blood sugar levels such as growth hormones, stress, illness, activity, exercise, sleep, food, and even the weather! High blood sugar can lead to many very serious long-term complications from heart and blood vessel disease, to neuropathy, nephropathy, eye damage, foot damage, and skin and mouth conditions. Low blood sugar can cause more immediate dangers, like loss of consciousness, seizures, a coma, and even death because brain cells do not have enough sugar to function. It is because of these and many more dangers that we would like for her to have a diabetic alert dog.

Peyton’s Diabetic Alert Dog will be specially-trained to tell Peyton when her blood sugar is about to go within that life-threatening range before any device, without pricking her fingers! The service dog will even alert Peyton and us while we are asleep to let us know when her blood sugar levels are going too low or too high. With a service dog, we would also not fear blood sugar highs or lows when she is playing soccer, going to school, going to sleep at night or while she is growing up. With this dog, Peyton will be able to confidently live an independent life.

Peyton’s service dog will be professionally trained. Trainers with decades of experience in scent and obedience training conduct all training from puppyhood through maturity. This scent dog recognizes trace amounts of an odor associated with high and low blood-glucose levels. This early detection of changing blood sugars can reduce the occurrence of extreme lows and extreme highs.

The alert dog will notify Peyton when her blood sugar level drops or rises by barking, pawing, and being animated until the situation is mitigated. Her Alert Service Dog will be protected by Federal Law (Americans with Disabilities Act) – and have full access to public places and commercial transportation without restrictions or additional fees. Wherever Peyton goes, the dog will be there too!

Peyton is a strong, brave, kind, adventurous and loving girl. She is one of the best parts of our family of 7 and we are so thankful for her! Our whole family supports Peyton 100%. We want her to know that her life has a purpose and that is to be a light in our world. We want Peyton to live a life as normal and healthy as possible, and limit life threatening situations. The alert service dog will help her do this. We are so grateful for your love and support!

Please put Peyton’s name in the “donation for” box to ensure the donation goes into her account.

Checks can be made out to and mailed to: ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE

Canines of Hope

4911 Schneider Rd.

Ann Arbor, Mi 48103

Thank you,

The Bruce Family

Peyton with Ellie and “Poppy”.  Ellie is helping Peyton raise the money for a Diabetic Alert Dog just as the community did for her. Ellie can’t wait to see her best friend paired with a live saving dog just as she has been blessed with.

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