Family turns to man's best friend to help with son's diabetes

Family turns to man's best friend to help with son's diabetes

It's a daily battle for 10-year old Peyton Gonzalez, after he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in August 2013. His diagnosis was given after a stint in Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City when doctors realized he was on the verge of a diabetic coma.

"I'm standing there and I’m in awe because there's nothing I can do, we had no clue he was a diabetic," says Peyton's father, Robert Gonzalez.

Since his stay in Niswonger, Peyton is now trying to be an average 4th grader even with the daily struggles that come with his Diabetes diagnosis.

Just a few weeks ago, Peyton's dad was getting the kids ready for school, when he walked into Peyton’s room and could not wake him up. Peyton's blood sugar was so low he became unresponsive and almost went into a diabetic coma.

Nights are a constant worry for Peyton's parents, because they never know if his blood sugar is too high or too low and have to check on him throughout the night.

That's where man's best friend comes in. Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs based out of Oklahoma City trains service dogs, specifically for diabetic patients and delivers them to families all over the country.

"The way the dogs should alert you is they should start scenting the air and picking up your scent either from you sweating or your breath or things like that. Once they detect a high or a low they should come over to you and take their paw and start pawing on your leg to let you know something is wrong," explains co-founder of Heartland Diabetic Alert Dog, Taylor Buckminster.

An alert dog gives a diabetic patient, like Peyton and his parents a sense of security, "Peace of mind is how I would describe it, knowing that there's something that can alert us ahead of time before it gets real bad".

The one thing that's standing in the way for Peyton to get a diabetes alert dog is the funding. A dog trained by Heartland or any similar company costs anywhere from $15,000 - $20,000, so the Gonzalez's are turning to the community for help and fundraising to get their son a service dog.

If you would like to help Peyton you can donate here.

To learn more on Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs, click here.

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