Family saves for canine carer

FUNDRAISER: Emily Turnbull’s family needs money to buy her an assistance dog.
FUNDRAISER: Emily Turnbull’s family needs money to buy her an assistance dog. Vicki Wood

LITTLE Emily wants to be a zookeeper one day. She loves animals and colouring-in.

Emily also has type 1 diabetes, spinal slippage, and an undiagnosed condition that sees her joints swell - sometimes restricting her to a wheelchair.

Mum Louise Turnbull said her eight-year-old daughter was made of tough stuff, refusing to let her physical restrictions hold her back.

"If she wakes up with sore, swollen legs, she still goes to school. She doesn't see it as a cop-out - she just soldiers on," Mrs Turnbull said.

The Turnbull family is currently saving up for a service dog for Emily, which will cost about $5000.

"The dog will be trained to smell when her blood sugars go low," Mrs Turnbull said.

The dog will also be able to pick up when her blood sugar goes too high, which could lead to a deadly diabetic coma.

The assistance dog will play a big part in keeping Emily safe at night, as well as be a comforting companion.

"She goes to bed every night and she thinks her blood sugars are going to go low and ... she won't wake up.

"The dog will be able to alert us of any problems during the night, too."

Louise said that it was hard watching her daughter suffer.

"Some nights she goes to bed and she can't get comfy because of the pain in her legs. Some nights I can't give her cuddles because it hurts to touch.

"It's just heartbreaking," she said.

Family friend Becca Hamilton is helping to raise the money for Emily's support dog by running a Pink, Black, and White Ladies' Night.

"I thought I'd try and put on a ladies' night to help them get the dog," Becca said.

"My son was a type 1 diabetic. He went away on a school camp and came home one day and was very sick. It turned out he had a virus that attacked his immune system that killed his pancreas. It is a struggle with a child with type 1 diabetes - you can't really stabilise their readings."

The ladies' night will feature a two-course meal and will be privy to Avon, Scentsy, and Jamberry Nails stalls to purchase pamper products.

The ladies' night will be held at the Blue Pacific Hotel, Woorim, on November 25 at 7pm. Tickets are $35. Phone Becca on 0478221100.

Donations can also be made at www.gofund

Topics:  diabetes

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