HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Harrison County girl is about to receive a multipurpose service dog, and the family is holding a fundraiser to help cover some of the expenses.
Bella Menard battles multiple heart conditions, autism, juvenile dementia, and she suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that results in as many as 40 seizures a day. Bella's mom and her sister, Cassidy, are by her side every day.
"It's been pretty hard because I can't tell you the amount of times we almost lost her," Cassidy told LEX 18's Claire Crouch.
Recently, the 16-year-old got a taste of independence when she got a wish granted by the Make A Wish Foundation, a swimming pool.
"She told us this is the first time she has felt like a normal kid," said Cassidy.
In October, she will receive a multipurpose service dog from Paws For Ability.
"She's not gonna be a child with a disability, she's gong to be a child with a dog," said Cassidy.
The dog will give Bella more independence and will provide her comfort. The dog will also alert her and others of a seizure before it happens. Her family has already paid the $15,000 to secure the dog.
In just over a month, Cassidy, Bella, and her mother will go to Ohio for two weeks of training. Although they have paid to secure the dog, the family needs an extra boost of money to cover their expenses while they are in Ohio. They need around $5,000.
This Saturday, the family is holding a fundraiser at the Elk's Lodge in Cynthiana to help cover the $5,000. The Journey to Bella's Service Dog event will be from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes food. There will be live music and a silent auction that will last from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
You can also donate to the family through a GoFundMe here.