The parents of a six-year-old girl who suffers from type 1 diabetes are raising money to buy a specially trained dog to help with her condition.
Christopher and Stephanie Bradburne, of Wayne Tabard Close in Ripon, have been offered a diabetic alert dog from Service Dogs Europe but need to raise several thousand pounds before they will receive the animal.
“It would make living with type 1 diabetes a lot less worrysome, and a lot more enjoyable for Hannah,” said Mr Bradburne.
“The best way to describe a diabetic alert dog is that they are similar to guide dogs.”
Diabetic alert dogs are trained to give a clear, previously defined alert signal such as barking, or licking a hand, when its owner is experiencing a hypoglycemic episode.
Hypoglycemia is when the sugar content in the blood reaches very low levels, and can result in long-lasting damage to health.
Hannah’s condition means that her blood sugar levels must currently be checked 12 times a day – which involves a prick to the skin to draw blood – to make sure that she does not enter a hypoglycemic state.
The dogs’ noses are so sensitive that they can detect a change in blood sugar levels up to 30 minutes before a glucose meter can.
Hannah’s parents said that having a diabetic alert dog around would improve Hannah’s quality of life and give them peace of mind.
Mr Bradburne said: “Having the dog around would mean a greatly reduced risk of long-term damage caused by a hypoglycemic episode.
“If her blood sugar levels begin to drop at an alarming rater, the dog would let us know as soon as she starts showing any signs that she might be getting ill.”
Hannah’s parents have to raise £3,200 themselves before they can get the dog as there is no Government funding for diabetic alert dogs
To help achieve their goal, Hannah’s parents have set up a fundraising website that has so far raised around £100.
If you would like to help Hannah’s family raise money so they can get their very own diabetic alert dog, you can donate by visiting: http://bit.ly/OJ9f6Q