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4 PAWS… Hungry to help disabled children

In Read More on December 25, 2008 at 9:04 am

“Staying hungry” means finding a way to help the people around you – looking for ways to take action, to give back, to improve the life of someone less fortunate than yourself. Judy Vorfeld of Peoria, Arizona, has stayed hungry. Judy found a way to give back to disabled children by being the webmaster for a site called “4PawsForAbility,” an organization that trains dogs not just for the blind, but trains service dogs for children with all disabilities.

Photo of Alex and Treasure at graduationJudy edits and writes online content, edits all types of documents and manuscripts, helps with website start-ups and makeovers, and integrates marketing knowledge into any task, if needed. She said she also enjoys solving business presentation problems. Many talented and skilled people don’t know how to describe themselves or their businesses well, and often an extra pair of eyes can help open possibilities.

Judy is one of those people. She has a particular passion for helping children with disabilities, and is the webmaster for three sites dedicated to those issues. She has always been an advocate of community service, and does as much volunteer work as she can. A photographer and graphic editor, she has several websites that offer services, articles, and tools for better small business development. Her main business site is Editing and Writing Services, a division of Office Support Services, which has her blog, ezine, and easy ezine template. She also has a site for her redigitized photography, one for Webgrammar, and her own personal site, which is a blend of her life in Washington State, Hawaii, and Arizona.

On the 4Paws for Ability site she writes:
The disorders listed here don’t begin to cover the emotions and issues threatening families of children with disabilities. The children shown below (and their families) seek your help in a project that will replace bleakness and despair with hope and vitality. Perhaps you can find a way to help make some dreams come true. 4Paws For Ability is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible.

If you want to put faces and stories to these children, then go here

annabellelThis is Annabelle and her brother, Owen.

owenl

4 Paws For Ability is raising money for a multipurpose assistance dog for Owen and Annabelle Luschei. Owen is five years old and has autism. Annabelle is three years old and has epilepsy.

Their mother, Angie Luschei, says, “For my son, the dog would provide safety, social and emotional needs. Right now Owen has a stuffed dog that he takes everywhere. He has been asking me for a dog for years. His therapists use his stuffed dog as a motivational tool.

“A real dog would be a dream come true for him. When I ask him why he wants a dog he answers ‘to love.’ He is a very sweet little boy who loves animals.

“Owen is a very happy little boy and has a lot of enthusiasm. He wants friends very badly, and it can be difficult with his language delay. He also has a lot of anxiety and sensory issues. He tries very hard and never gives up, but there is much he is not able to do which can be very frustrating.

“A dog will help motivate him and help calm him. It would also help him interact socially with other people.

“Annabelle is creative and full of energy. She has suffered from seizures for the past two years. It is scary for everyone when she has a seizure. We have had many ER visits. I have trouble sleeping because I am afraid she will have a seizure at night and choke.

“Three times I have heard her choking or just happened to check on her while she was having a seizure while on her back. When she has a seizure and is on her back her airway is blocked. After a seizure she falls into a deep sleep.

“I’m constantly afraid that I will wake up one morning and find Annabelle died because I didn’t hear her when she had a seizure at night. To have a dog that could alert me to her seizure would allow me to actually sleep at night without the guilt and fear. An assistance dog could save her life.

“We all love dogs and the the assistant dog would be a huge source of comfort. I can’t fully express the joy a multipurpose assistant dog would bring to our entire family. You can help us by making a tax-deductible donation to 4 Paws for Ability in honor of Owen and Annabelle Luschei. For more information about Owen and Annabelle you can contact Angie Luschei.

“Thank You for reading about our family and helping us make our family’s dream come true.”

* * *

Sadly, some children this year weren’t able to get their dogs on time because Quantas Airlines *cheated* 4Paws For Ability out of $33,000 dollars that was to be used for dogs. Shortly after July 16, 2008 when CNN taps Karen Shirk as Hero , the nightmare for Shirk began. Prior to that:

“It’s the magic of dogs.” That’s how Karen Shirk explains the ability of service dogs to help children suffering from autism. “I’m sure there’s some sort of scientific explanation,” she says. “But I call it magic.” Shirk was featured online, including a story and several videos, and her coverage got a brief intro July 17 on The Larry King Live Show on CNN. But after that positive story came one of heart break, after Quantas Airlines refused to give back $33,000 to the organization after refusing to let the dogs fly on their airlines. The media coverage below tells the story:

  • August 14, 2008 RedOrbit.com, A Dog of a Deal From Qantas. A mix-up that has left three Waikato families facing large bills for the transportation of specially trained dogs from the US has shown Qantas treats its customers with about as much respect as the pooches it was flying. After two years of fundraising for the autism assistance dogs to help their children with behavioural issues, the families face more heartache in the form of an unexpected $33,000 bill for flying the dogs from Los Angeles.
  • August 11, 2008 Waikato Times, New Zealand, Cash aid kicks off for Autism Assistance dogs’ costs, Donations have already begun rolling in for the three Waikato families left with a $33,000 bill after Qantas blocked their Autism Assistance dogs from being taken aboard a plane at Los Angeles Airport. But the airline itself has not fronted up.
  • Blog by Forsythe Qantas: Service Dogs Not Allowed
  • August 9, 2008 New Zealand Herald. $33K bill after dogs banned from flight. Three Waikato families are facing a bill of $33,000 after three dogs being brought to New Zealand to help autistic patients were banned from a Qantas flight in Los Angeles.
  • August 9, 2008 Channel 3 News, New Zealand, Article and Video about Airline drama for dearly beloved dogs Dogs that help people with autism have arrived in New Zealand for the first time but not without an unexpected drama with their flight. The dogs were blocked from boarding a Qantas flight in Los Angeles – a mixup that will cost their owners more than $34,000.
  • August 9, 2008 Waikato Times, New Zealand, Flight is worse than their bark By Natalie Akoorie. Three Waikato families have been stung with a $33,000 bill after the Autism Assistance dogs they spent two years fundraising for were blocked from boarding a Qantas flight at Los Angeles Airport.
  • August 9, 2008 Waikato Times, New Zealand, New friends to stand by us by Peter Drury. Life and learning will never be the same for Sloan Ewens, 6, and Sara Pairaudeau, 9, thanks to their new Autism Assistance dogs Woogie and Maddy. Waikato Times chief photographer Peter Drury followed the Hamilton children from the moment they received the dogs from the 4 Paws For Ability centre in Ohio, America.
  • July 18, 2008 TOPEKA, KANSAS Help for Topeka 4-year old Could Come with Four Paws by Melissa Brunner, WIBW.com. If it weren’t for the helmet he wears, you wouldn’t think JJ Krentz was different from any other four-year old. His mom, Tiffanie, describes him as rambunctious and high energy, always laughing with a big, bright smile. But JJ also has Dravet Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes seizures and cognitive delays. Tiffanie and Kevin don’t know when the next seizure might hit….Tiffanie says people can fall from a seizure and suffer a brain injury, or they may suffer one in their sleep “and they don’t wake up the next morning.” JJ’s family is trying to raise $11,000 so they can purchase a dog specially trained to alert them when a seizure is coming on.
We think Stay Hungry is the most powerful pick for Johnny Bunko’s Lesson Seven. If you think so too, please click here and add your vote.
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