On the outside, Morgan Yoder appears to be just a normal young girl frolicking around the playground or skipping from sidewalk to sidewalk. But, she is in need of a service dog that will enhance her life for years to come. In order to get the help she needs, her family needs help.
The Yoder’s are working side-by-side with 4 Paws for Ability to help their daughter. They currently live in Waynesville.
Morgan was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type II. According to Ehlers-danlos.com, “EDS is a group of inherited connective tissue disorders, caused by various defects in the synthesis of collagen. There are six distinct types of EDS currently identified. Symptoms include hypermobile joints (joints that move in greater amounts than expected) and skin involvement, such as any of the following: soft, stretchy, saggy, too thin, easy bruising, easy wounding, poor wound healing and/or atrophic scaring.” With joint involvement, Morgan may experience loose/unstable joints, which could lead to frequent dislocations, joint pain, hyper-extensible joints and early onset of osteoarthritis.
“Morgan is a 6-year-old who loves to swim, play outside, and loves playing with children and animals. She is very social and she has a great sense of humor,” said her mother, Tina. “Morgan was in gymnastics and recently had to quit because of her diagnosis. It broke my heart.”
Ehlers-danlos.com continues to state, “with a badly build or processed collagen, the tissue that relies on it can be pulled beyond normal limits and thus be damaged. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and types of collagen can be found almost anywhere: in skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, blood vessels, organs, gums, eyes, and so on.”
Her condition can become a problem if she gets a wound that requires stitches because her skin might not be strong enough to hold them and could cause prominent permanent scarring.
“Currently, she has overly flexible joints, which could result in joint dislocations, early-onset arthritis, chronic degenerative joint disease, muscle pain, and frequent tearing of tendons or muscles,” Mrs. Yoder said about her daughter. “Morgan is living with widespread pain on a daily basis. She also has other side effects such as insomnia, sensory disorders, migraines, allergies, and gastric reflux.”
Morgan is currently participating in physical and occupational therapy and to strengthen her muscles so they can support her joints.
BENEFITS TO MORGAN
So, what can a service dog do to help Morgan?
Mobility Assistance. The service dog will help increase independence when she has trouble standing and/or balancing. This will help prevent falls and injuries. The dog could also help retrieve dropped items and opening doors, if needed.
Sensory Assistance. The dog will be able to provide comfort, support and be used as a calming effect.
ABOUT 4 PAWS FOR ABILITY
This is a non-profit, 501C3 organization who provides service dogs for those with disabilities and educate the public regarding the use of service dogs in public. Their main goal is to provide qualified, trained service dogs to the disabled in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act of 1990.
COST FOR MORGAN TO GET SERVICE DOG
The training cost for each service dog cost approximately $24,000 -$34,000. With the help of 4 Paws for Ability, the requesting family, after being approved, needs to commit to raising a certain percentage of funds. Morgan Yoder and her family needs to raise $17,000. To raise the money, the family will be hosting several fundraisers throughout the year and they will accept cash donations on the website set aside for Morgan.
Even after the Yoders raise the money, they may be looking at another year or two before they are assigned a service dog. So, the need to raise the money quickly, is even more important than ever for this family.
To donate, you can mail a check:
4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385
*** Put Mogan Yoder in the memo line of the check to ensure the money is properly deposited into her personal account.
For more information on Morgan’s story and future fundraising events, follow her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/4PAWSforMorgan/.