Meet Chase… He is almost 4 and the defintion of a red head. Spirited, loving, compassionate and wild.
This is Chases story:
Chase was born a happy, healthy little boy in January of 2012 to his daddy Nick and I. In the fall of 2014 his childcare provider noticed that he didn’t respond to his name. We chalked it up to he was a just a stubborn 2 1/2 year old. 🙂 But after lots of test and a trip to Seattle to see a specialist, we found out that he was in fact diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss. With that he also lost all his speech and ability to communicate. With our audiologist up here in Alaska we decided that the best thing for our precious little guy was cochlear implants. Adjusting to this new device was certainly a challenge, but has proved to be amazing. While Chase adjusted to a new challenge of wearing and learning to use his new devices there were many trips to the doctor and countless hours of speech therapy as he started to “hear” again. He also started in the most amazing pre-school program specially for the deaf and hard of hearing. His teacher Cindy has been incredible and a huge part of his new way of hearing and learning. Now his “ears” are just a normal part of life. While the devices have been amazing, there is still a sense of uncertainty when you are unable to hear the world around you. Which is the case when Chases “ears” aren’t on. This has limited his sense of independence, which for a normally independent and outgoing kid can be very frustrating. And this is where the hearing service dog comes in. To provide Chase with that sense of independence he longs for. To go into the backyard with his service dog and not requiring mom or dad to be there too. There is also the risk of safety. In the event of a fire, a hearing service dog is trained to alert Chase of danger. How amazing is that?! We have noticed that since his surgery his bond with Lula our boxer has become so much stronger. It is evident that she is able to calm him when he gets frustrated… because that’s the ability dogs have. And she’s not even trained to do so! We don’t ever want Chase to feel as though he can’t do everything else that any child his age would do. He is not different.. he just hears in a different way.
With 4 Paws for Abilty we want to create a life of freedom and confidence for Chase.
How can you help??
4 Paws for ability is a non-profit organization whose mission is to place quality trained service dogs with children of all disabilties. It costs 4 Paws $22,000 to fully raise and train a service dog, which is why they request the families become volunteers of their time and resources for their organization to raise $15,000.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in Chases name to 4 Paws. You can make a huge difference in the life of our family. Thank you!!
Bri and Nick Olzenak