Diabetic Warning Dogs can see the level of insulin in a person’s bloodstream and warn them when it is too low or too high.
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. – Everyone needs someone to lean on. Sometimes people need a dog to lean on.
Lindsay Graham, a mother and former school teacher from Lenoir City, is surrounded by a wonderful support system of friends and family. She relies on them to help manage her diabetes after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 16 years ago.
She said she still has trouble keeping her blood sugar levels in balance.
“I don’t think people without diabetes understand that you can consume what you want,” said Graham. “But then you have to take that amount of insulin to cover what you just ate. I’m learning.”
Graham’s mother, Cherie House, said the diagnosis was the family’s first case. She said that made it even more scary for close friends and family.
When Graham’s blood sugar drops at night, she has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning to normalize her insulin levels.
“Lindsay is one of my best friends,” said Anna Russell. “I call her every morning, text her, get her texted and make sure she is okay.”
Graham’s mother shared her friend’s concerns.
“I couldn’t sleep at night without worrying that someone would call in the morning and say she was gone,” House said.
To help everyone and keep Graham safe, her family came up with a solution to reduce their risk – a diabetic warning dog.
These dogs are specially trained to smell the levels of insulin in their blood.
“A dog has 10,000 times more sense of smell than a human, so it’s pretty amazing what he can do,” said House.
However, a diabetic warning dog can cost anywhere from $ 20,000 to $ 40,000. Although it would help regulate her blood sugar, Graham said she couldn’t afford one on her own.
“If you have a daughter who might die … it takes a village to raise a child. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it still takes a village, ”House said.
Graham’s family and friends held a community event to raise money for a service dog. Graham is currently in a bonding phase with a brown poodle named “Bentley”.
He was at the event, by her side.
“That dog changed our lives completely,” said House.
If you’d like to help Graham raise money for her service dog, you can do so on New Hope Dogs website. You can select the recipient as Lindsay Graham.