Aiden Heath was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 4 years old. Not long after, he heard about diabetes service dogs and how they can detect changes in blood sugar. Aiden told his mom he was sure he needed a service dog of his own. She told him, “every penny counts,” and right away he started saving his pennies. It was no small task—because a specially trained Diabetic Alert Dog requires a $2,500 down payment, and comes out to a total cost of around $15,000.
The local community was so impressed, they started penny challenges to help Aiden make his goal. After four long years, he managed to accrue a whopping $6,000 dollars in small change, which he lugged to the bank in a little red wagon.
When a news story on Aiden’s heroic efforts to get a service dog went viral, a GoFundMe page was set up, and in no time, he was able to pick a service dog to be trained for his use. Six months later, Angel the chocolate lab is home with Aiden: a dream come true.
Diabetic alert service dogs are trained to detect high and low blood sugar changes, and are so sensitive they can sniff out a problem 20 minutes faster than a blood draw. These incredible service dogs can also fetch diabetic supplies, alert a parent or teacher, and even use a special device to dial 911 for an unresponsive partner.