Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Barrett, a boy after my heart

I received the following this morning from a friend. I appeal to all people who love dogs, children, have a compassionate heart and maybe a little money, to help.  I have edited this piece just slightly for space.

My name is Tammy Ruck and I am a Nursing Major at Cumberland University. I am reaching out to my fellow students and staff at Cumberland to share my son's story. I have 3 children, but my middle son, Barrett, has some special needs. He is Autistic, has seizures, is a heart patient, has asthma, ADHD and OCD. He is really bright but he has many development delays, physically, emotionally and socially. My husband and I have decided to get Barrett a service dog. A service dog is not covered by medical insurance and costs $20,000 to train over the course of 2 years. The company we have chosen fund raises to cover half of that cost and the family has to fund raise to cover the other half. The family also has to cover their own expenses to get to the training and cover other expenses related to owning a service dog (special ID for dog and handler, vest, leashes, harness, dog crate and veterinary expenses).  We have estimated we will need $12,000 total.

We decided to create a web page telling Barrett's story and asking for help in reaching our goal.  I would appreciate if everyone would just take a moment to read Barrett's story. You won't regret it. He is so inspiring.  I know, in tough times, many people will not be able to donate (especially us students), but if you could share Barrett's story with all your contacts by forwarding along his web address, that would be so helpful.  Barrett's web page has only been operational now for 7 days and just through word of mouth, email and facebook, he has raised over $5000.00. Now we can turn in his application and they can select a service dog who has completed his basic training and begin training him specifically for Barrett's needs.  We have a relatively small window of time to raise the rest of the funds in order for Barrett to get his dog. A service dog will be life-saving and life changing for Barrett. Barrett's story has also caught the attention of Nashville News Channel 5 and they will be at our house Thursday to film a segment about him and his efforts to get his service dog. Be watching for the news clip to get an inside view into Barrett's incredible life.

Thank you for hearing Barrett's story, taking him into your heart, sharing his story with others and helping us reach this goal. With your help, Barrett can learn to be independent and be safe. My family thanks you all so much...from the bottom of Barrett's special little heart. If we go over our goal, our family has decided to get a hold of the company we have chosen and find the closest family to us that is also currently fund raising for an Autism Service Dog and let Barrett surprise them with a check. Please take this journey with our family by following Barrett's progress on his web site. You can feel good knowing that you mattered in the life of a small child and made his life better. Thank you.

Tammy Ruck.


Janet M said...

I'll check ou the link- it's a good story and he's so cute.

Jayne said...

There but by the grace of God... each day I am reminded that there are always things to be thankful for in my journey and I have learned to embrace the blessings. I hope they are able to get the funds they need and then some. :c)

Tammy Ruck said...

This is Tammy Ruck. I was playing around on the internet and came across this blog! Thanks you so much for sharing my son's story. Here is the update: Barrett did get his service dog "Zack". Zack died six months after we got him. We have already fundraised all over again to buy Barrett another service dog. His dog is paid for and we are waiting now while his dog is trained just for him. Having gone through this experience twice in one year, we know how hard it can be to fundraise for a service dog. We are lucky because we have had a lot of exposure (news, newspapers, facebook, etc.)and that helped, but many families are not as lucky and may live in more remote locations and don't have as many contacts. That makes it hard for them to fundraise. Barrett wanted to help other children like him also get a service dog too. We decided as a family to help him accomplish that mission. We are going to start a non-profit 501(c)3 charity named "Barrett's Brigade" to raise funds to help other children on the waiting list at Wilderwood Service Dogs but their service dog and cover their families expenses to get to training. Every $15,000.00 we raise will buy a dog and give the family $3000 to get to the training week. We are building a website now: (not the be confused with another website listed as We have raised several thousand for our first family and are excited about several upcoming fundraisers. We will surprise that family with a check soon. Barrett will present it since this was his mission. We are just his army of supporters! We are excited to do this and need all the help we can get. Once we are granted 501(c)3 status, we hope that you decide to make Barrett's Brigade your charity of choice and your donations will be tax deductible. We will make it possible to pay by paypal securely on the website and we will also list bank info if you prefer. By making a donation to help this little boy achieve his mission, you become a valuable member of Barrett's Brigade, and we are so grateful for your support. Thank you to the wonderful woman who created this blog and chose to share Barrett's story. You are in out hearts! Love Tammy, Chris, Dakota, Emerson and Barrett Ruck and all those who already support us (those we lovingly call Barrett's Brigage). God Bless you all.

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