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DOG name: HATTIE
Certification:
AD-PND [STP]
Team since: 2014

Aaron McCumbee

In January of 2010, we met Aaron for the very first time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was five and a half months old, and very weak. Aaron weighed only eight pounds, but his smile lit up the room. But the smile couldn't hide how sick he was, and after we got back to Wilmington we embarked on a more than two-year journey to nurse him back to health. Thanks to the help of a team of amazing physicians, incredible therapist and the support of family and friends he has made huge leaps. Aaron's daily life is the same as any four year old. He laughs, plays, dances, and gets into mischief. But he doesn't talk. Aaron is severely impacted by Apraxia of Speech. Apraxia of speech is an oral motor speech disorder affecting an individual's ability to translate conscious speech plans into motor plans, which results in limited and difficult speech ability. In adults, the disorder is caused by illness or injury, while the cause of AOS in children is unknown. Aaron has very little expressive speech, which is extremely frustrating for him. Aaron gets therapy daily. He receives occupational, physical, speech and hippotherapy. Aaron also attends a wonderful developmental pre-school, but he needs a little more help. This summer I met the trainers from paws4people at a local event. paws4people is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing highly trained service dogs to individuals in need. I talked to them about the possibility of a service dog for our family. I submitted our application despite feeling it was a long shot we would be selected. Then, over Labor Day weekend, we got the call that Aaron could meet the service dogs in training in December and see if any of them were a good fit. That was the most amazing news! We drove almost 9 hours to West Virginia to meet the dogs in December 2013, and Aaron and HATTIE bonded after spending a few minutes together. She will be able to assist Aaron at home, in the community, during therapy sessions and she will make school visits. We are beyond thrilled to welcome HATTIE to our team!

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PIF 1

$0

$10,000
Goal

NORAH



PIF 2

$0

Infinite
Goal

$13,507



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