XENIA — Gabriella Weber is a sweet, happy, little two-year-old girl whose family loves her. Her favorite thing is reading books. She enjoys being outside on her swing or in her stroller when the weather is nice and she loves giving hugs to her babies and stuffed animals.
She also enjoys all kinds of music and playing with her toys. Her parents report that she is especially excited to finally be able to start exploring all of the interesting things around her since she recently learned to crawl and pull herself up on things with the help of her physical therapist.
More About Gabriella
You see, Gabriella, has some delays. Her muscles are different (due to hypotonia), so it takes a lot more work for her to control her muscles and do even simple things like sitting up or catching herself if she starts to fall. She also has speech delays and fine motor delays, but there is an entire team of therapists teaching the Webers how to help her catch up.
As if that isn’t enough for her family to worry about, even more critical, and likely connected to the delays, Gabriella also has epilepsy. She has been at the hospital multiple times in the last eight months due to multiple seizures. She has been through a lot of testing and endured quite a bit of pain and now is terrified of doctors and nurses, as well as almost all strangers. Her family is hoping that she is on the right medications now to help control her seizures, but they say Gabriella could have breakthrough seizures when she is ill or fatigued. Most of her seizures last less than 5 minutes, but she did have one that lasted for 25 minutes and had to be stopped with IV medication. Also once her seizures start, Gabriella tends to have quite a few of them and usually ends up in the hospital to get extra medication to make them stop. Many of her seizures have started while asleep, which can be hard to detect unless her parents are awake and looking at her monitor.
How a Service Dog Can Help
The Weber family contacted 4 Paws for Ability to apply for a Service Dog for Gabriella that is trained to alert to her seizures and help assist with balance and help comfort and calm her after a seizure or during hospital stays. Mom, Laura, explains, “We know this will be such a big help for our entire family and could possibly even save her life one day.”
How the Community Can Help
The Webers are asking friends, family, and the community to help raise money for 4 Paws for Ability to qualify Gabriella for this life-saving service dog. 4 Paws helps train and place dogs with people with all kinds of disabilities including children with autism, as well as children with epilepsy and even veterans. The assistance, confidence, companionship, and independence these dogs provide is life-changing. It costs 4 Paws for Ability over $22,000 per dog and the family is asked to raise $15,000 in support of its mission.
If you would like to be part of Gabriella’s success story, there are several ways to help:
• Checks can be mailed to 4 Paws for Ability, 253 Dayton Avenue, Xenia, OH 45385 with Gabriella Weber’s name in the memo field.
• Credit card donations can be made on First Giving http://firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Laura-Weber-2/help-Gabriella or on the 4 Paws website at http://4pawsforability.org/donate-now/ – please indicate Gabriella Weber in the special instructions field.
• There is a fundraising event on Saturday, July 30 at at Brandeberry Winery at 5118 W. Jackson Rd., Enon, OH 45323 from noon to 10 pm. The event will include: raffle baskets, Giggles and Grins clowns with balloons and face painting, Magic Show by Dave Davis, food trailer (Cardinals), 50/50, and the Full Circle Band will be playing from 6 -9 PM. The winery is releasing a new wine that day, and $1 of each bottle sold goes for Gabriella. No fee to attend. For more details, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/505843079622979/
About 4 Paws for Ability, Inc.
Founded in 1998, 4 Paws for Ability, Inc., is a non-profit agency with global outreach serving children and veterans with disabilities by providing service dogs to those in need. The training of a service dog is recipient specific with a focus on Autism Assistance dogs, Mobility Assistance dogs, Seizure Assistance Dogs, among others.