Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Complete Awe

Where do I begin?

When I first started researching Autism Service Dogs, it was as if a huge load had been lifted from my shoulders.  There was something out there to help Jacey.  The path was clear - fund raise $13,000 for 4 Paws for Ability.  Insurance has not been so clear.  We sent in a predetermination letter that was denied for coverage of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), saying that it was unproven and experimental.  I now have to send an appeal to insurance to fight against their decision, since ABA is one of the best and well known therapies to help children with Autism.  Who knows how long that will take to get things cleared up and hopefully have services in place. 

I was so giddy with excitement when I learned that Jacey had been approved through 4 Paws that I thought the skies were the limits.  Once reality set in that we had to come up with THIRTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, my dream of having a service dog for Jacey began to collapse.  The amount that we had to fund raise was SO MUCH!  I held true to my determination of getting things started.  I sent letters, emails, and called the media.  I thought that maybe over the next year we might make a dent in the amount needed.  I had no idea that I would be here today to tell you all that we are there!  Between the auctions at, family, friends, Judd's co-workers, and other donors, they've made the goal happen.  It makes my eyes well up with tears just thinking about the intense amount of love and support that we have received in less than two weeks.

Trying to wrap my head around the idea that the service dog isn't a dream anymore is so difficult.  I was not prepared to be done with fundraising SOOOO quickly.  I joined the 4 Paws Yahoo Group in hopes to get ideas for fundraising and wanted lots of ideas so that I could plan out different events to help make the $13,000 goal.  Yet here I am telling you all that we're done.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am simply amazed.  There are no words to express my true feelings at this moment.  However, if you saw me...I'm sure you would see it!  :o)  I don't think I have ever cleaned out my tear ducts like this before!!!  I told Judd not to worry about crying because I'm doing enough for the both of us!  Thank  you so much for supporting us through all of this.  People have come forward that not only wanted to donate their money but also their thoughts, prayers, and ideas.  Thank you!

I'm sure everyone still wants to be kept up-to-date on where we are with getting ready for the dog and actually bringing the dog home.  Don't worry - I will DEFINITELY keep everyone up to speed on what's happening.

So I thought that the support would probably taper off now that we have reached our goal.  But it hasn't....  Judd called a gentleman that he had been in contact with that had wanted to donate the last thousand dollars towards our goal.  Judd let him know that we were already there.  But he still wants to donate his funds somewhere and we just have to let him know where it is needed. 

But it doesn't stop there!  Judd just called to let me know that a co-worker had informed him that there is an anonymous donor that would like to purchase our airline tickets when the time comes to go out to Ohio.  What do I say to this other than thank you?  I am truly speechless.....  I have never in my life experienced such an outpouring of love from people, including strangers.  Thank you to all of those who have made this dream a reality!!! 

From the bottom of our hearts we thank each and everyone of you!  I look forward to Family Home Evenings, when we can look back at this and tell our children about all the good in the world.  I am constantly telling Bailey and Carsten about the wonderful people that are wanting to help us get the dog for Jacey.  I hope that one day Jacey will understand the magnitude of all that has taken place so that she could receive her four-legged friend.  You all have amazed us beyond our wildest dreams!



  1. Amy, we are in Dayton, if you would like a place to stay when you come. I didn't get my donation in in time as well. We would be happy to donate a place to stay.

    Let me know and I can send you our number and address.

    Tracie Gessel (use to be Hendricks:))

  2. Hi Amy!

    From the big sister of an autistic adult - and as a person with a service dog myself - congratulations! I linked back to this blog off mine and even gave a little spiel yesterday about reaching out and helping where people could.

    Definitely keep chronicaling the journey. Everytime someone is able to do this - able to raise the funds to get a service dog - it gives hope to others out there who are struggling with the overwhelming and daunting decision to even try.

    I would love to keep up with you and Jacey (and the new service dog!) of course on my blog from time to time.

    Best wishes and congratulations again from Central Illinois. If there is anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask!

    Jessica and Ranger(SD)