Abbotsford boy’s life could depend on medical service dog, parents say

Abbotsford family has started fundraising to buy expensive furry lifesaver

While every kid would love to own a dog, Derek Bowman’s life may depend on it.

The Abbotsford boy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2018. His parents believe a medical alert service dog is the only safe solution for their child as they are able to detect blood level changes faster than any monitoring technology available.

“There have been too many close calls when we have missed a dangerously low blood glucose measurement due to the time delay or the technology failing,” writes Leah Bowman, Derek’s mother.

Bowman’s condition is particularly dangerous due to him being unaware of when his blood levels fluctuate to extreme highs or lows. Twenty-five per cent of Type 1 diabetics are afflicted with this secondary condition called ‘hyper/hypo unaware.’

“This would allow him a lot more independence, and me some peace of mind, while also providing comfort and companionship to a boy who is feeling “different” than everyone else,” Leah said.

Unfortunately, these specialized dogs are extremely expensive with a price tag of up to $30,000. The family has started a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds.

“Please don’t look at it as a contribution to the purchase of a very expensive dog, instead look at it as contributing to the purchase of a customized medical tool that can save my son’s life… it just happens to be a dog.”

Visit the GoFundMe page called: Service Dog for Derek.

RELATED: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

RELATED: Learning to live with diabetes

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