CLOVERDALE â€” A generous contribution from an anonymous donor has made a Surrey familyâ€™s wish for a service dog come true.
â€œWeâ€™re so blessed,â€ said Sheri Chambers. â€œWeâ€™re just in awe, completely shocked.â€
Almost a month ago an online fundraiser was set up to collect $20,000 for a seizure-alert dog for three-year-old Jakob Chambers, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis complex.
The disorder causes tumours to form in a number of different organs, however the tumours in Jakobâ€™s brain cause him to have daily seizures, including terrifying status seizures.
The family applied for a seizure-alert dog from 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit agency in Ohio that trains service dogs for children with disabilities and veterans. The organization said it would begin training when the family had raised at least $14,000.
Last week the family reached their fundraising goal thanks to a donation of more than $18,000. And now 4 Paws says it will begin training a dog for Jakob immediately.
â€œI almost fainted when Michelle (who organized the fundraiser) called to tell me,â€ Sheri said. â€œWeâ€™re thankful there are so many people who wanted to help.â€
Now the family is collecting money to help pay for their trip to Ohio once the dog is ready in 12 to 15 months. They will have to spend two weeks there for training and certification.
As of Tuesday afternoon, almost $8,500 had been raised. Any money not used for the trip will go toward medical expenses related to Jakobâ€™s disorder, such as medication and new therapies.
â€œWeâ€™re so thankful â€” it will open a lot of doors for Jakob,â€ Sheri said. â€œThe issue wonâ€™t be can we pay our bills or can we help Jakob today.â€
The largest donation so far ($7,500) has come from the country group Florida Georgia Line.
â€œThey were just really wanting to help Jakob and our family,â€ Sheri said, sounding thrilled.
A carnival-themed event at West Winds Community Church (6331 176th St.) on June 22 at 7 p.m. will still go ahead as planned, with money raised going to Jakobâ€™s medical fund. Country star Dallas Smith will be performing. Tickets are available and donations can be made through jakeymansworld.com.
Meanwhile, another event planned for this weekend will benefit a Metro family whose youngest member is fighting cancer.
In February, 19-month-old Kolbi Fraser had brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. Just after starting chemotherapy he contracted a gastro-intestinal illness at the hospital. A month ago, his family suffered another setback when their basement flooded during a heavy rainfall.
The fundraiser, called #KlipsforKolbi, will be held at Il Destino Salon and Spa in Port Moody. Participants, who will shave their heads and chop off ponytails, will collect pledges in support of Kolbi and his family. More information is available at on.fb.me/1outyQY
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