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.