My name is Emily and I recently relocated to the Central Florida area from my hometown of Boston, MA. I’m in my late 20s and have two beautiful daughters that are my whole world. I have recently been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, Vasovagal Syncope and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome in addition to my pre-existing Lupus SLE diagnosis.
These new diagnoses have severely affected my quality of life. Before my diagnosis I enjoyed social dancing, running, and going to the gym. Due to the nature of my disabilities, l am severely limited in the activities I am able to enjoy. I do not enjoy social gatherings anymore unless I am with my family for fear of passing out. At any time, I can faint and lose consciousness which excludes me tram being able to run or go ta the gym alone. I am a highly independent person and knowing I am not able to run, or exercise alone has been very challenging to accept. I am extremely sensitive to the sun and heat, which makes me very hesitant to go out alone on sunny Florida days. I have had many episodes of passing out in parking lots and supermarkets. It is always an anxiety-provoking experience as strangers around me panic and has no Idea what Is going on. I am constantly fearful of passing out with my two small daughters with me. For that reason, I have stopped bringing them to parks and public places unless I have someone with me to help.
My medical team suggested that a service dog could help drastically improve my quality of life. If granted the opportunity to work with a service dog, I would be able to resume being independent. I would be able to go running again without fear of fainting and not being found. I would be able to go to the gym again and take my daughters to the park without having to ask for help. Working with a service dog would be life-changing and would afford me the opportunity to resume my active, healthy, busy lifestyle. My service dog could help me notify first responders If I fall, press my cardiac alert button that transmits data from my implantable loop recorder to my cardiologist, and help give me the peace of mind I need to resume my normal lite before my diagnoses. I also recently lost my father to a violent carjacking turned homicide, which has impacted my sense of safety and security in public places. My anxiety has increased and often Keeps me from engaging In social activities or being in public places alone. Being an animal lover, there Is no doubt in my mind that having a canine companion would also put me more at ease and enable me to focus on something positive when out in public. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for your fundraising support. Every dollar or social media share counts. I am blessed to have found Topaz Assistance Dogs and to have been accepted in their program and am looking forward to restored Independence upon placement.