Local 5-Year-Old Raising Money for Diabetic Alert Dog

Charity Taylor
Activity, excitement, heat and anxiety all cause big changes in the body’s blood sugar, which are things that happen to a 5-year-old all the time so he has to be constantly monitored.”
Charity Taylor, Lucas’ Mother

CULLMAN – Meet the adorable 5-year-old Lucas Hembree. He may look like a typical little brown-eyed boy, but there is something very, very different about him. On April 21, 2015, Lucas was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Now he has to undergo continuous monitoring, which can be difficult for this active little guy.

His mother worries about him every minute of every day. To help keep Lucas safe and his blood sugar under control, the family is hoping to buy a Diabetic Alert Dog or DAD.

“He has to do a finger stick to check his blood sugar 8-12 times per day, if not more,” explained Charity Taylor, Lucas’ mother.

“He is now taking insulin shots every time he eats which is at least six or seven times a day. He must have his sugar checked at 2:00 a.m. and every two hours and treated if necessary with insulin or juice. He has to be awakened every night for this because people with diabetes can experience low glucose levels very quickly and have seizures, go into a diabetic coma, or worse, possibly die.”

“Activity, excitement, heat and anxiety all cause big changes in the body’s blood sugar,” she continued, “which are things that happen to a 5-year-old all the time so he has to be constantly monitored. Lucas does not notice or recognize when he has symptoms of a fluctuation, which is why he has to be checked so often. This is where a DAD will make so much of a difference,” she smiled.

“His sugar readings go anywhere from the 30s to the 600s! On top of this, Lucas has asthma which oftentimes needs to be treated with steroids. Steroids make blood sugar go significantly high which requires a large amount of insulin.”

Not only would the DAD be a friend to Lucas, but it would recognize Lucas’ scent when he is having an extreme high or low episode and will then alert someone that he needs treatment. The DAD will also protect him during the night when his blood sugar can drop drastically.

His family feels the DAD will provide better control of his blood sugar and give them some peace of mind while he is at school.

It will definitely help him to live a normal 5-year-old's life.

The DADs can alert to high and low blood sugars up to 45 minutes before the reading on a glucose monitor would show, retrieve third party support and retrieve food, medicine, insulin, or juice before it is too late. This will be a huge help to Lucas and everyone around him.

The family has already started the long and expensive process of getting Lucas a DAD, but it takes $4,000 just to be placed on the active waiting list. The total cost for the DAD will be $25,000, and as one can imagine, the family needs all the help they can get. 

Their first fundraiser is a T-shirt sale. The T-shirts are $15 and will be available to pick up at Cullman Primary Care at POB 3 on the 1st floor of the CRMC campus in 1-2 weeks.

Those interested in purchasing a T-shirt should e-mail Charity Taylor at chembree@cpc-pc.com or Cindy McReath at cmcreath@cpc-pc.com.

There will be other fundraisers later on to help with the cost. In the meantime, donate online at gofundme.com/ycmqj9h.