Taylor and Joy Buckminster started Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs after their daughter Kaleigh was diagnosed with T1D at thirteen months old. Connect on Facebook under Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs.
Here's their story:
To any stranger, our daughter, Kaleigh, is a fun, sweet, and energetic little girl, living a normal and easy life. As her parents, we know her life is much more complex than that.
One month after Kaleigh’s first birthday, she was rushed to the OU Children’s Hospital in a fight for her life with an 868 blood glucose level. We quickly realized it was a miracle our little girl was still alive!
We have spent every day since learning how to manage Kaleigh’s Diabetes, which requires that we check her blood glucose level by a finger prick at least 10 times a day and often times many more. As she sleeps at night, if her blood sugar were to drop too low, she could easily slip into a coma and if undected, could even die.
Since Kaleigh was diagnosed at such an early age, she does not remember how a normal blood sugar feels, so she requires watchful care. Knowing the demands of her condition, the decision to enroll Kaleigh in preschool was daunting. What could we do to make it POSSIBLE for our child to attend school?!! Our answer came in the form of a Diabetic Alert Dog named Memphis, that joined our family after months of fundraising, preparation, and prayer.
Our lives have changed dramatically since the day Memphis walked through our front door! Along with his soft, brown eyes and wagging tail, Memphis gives us security and peace-of-mind in knowing we now have 24 hour-a-day help to keep our daughter alive. No longer must we set our alarm to awaken us every two hours since Memphis, our "Kaleigh's Keeper," is keeping watch at her bedside.
We have founded Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs to provide other families with the same peace that comes with a professionally trained service dog. Our commitment is to provide superior Diabetic Alert Dogs, to share successful fundraising information, and to give our ongoing support.