Andrew and DAD Rio
My name is Andrew and this is my Sunday’s success Story. I’m 34 years old and have been a juvenile diabetic since I was 5 years old, 29 years of my life.
As most of you reading my Sunday Success Story know this means I have given myself approximately 54,750 insulin injections and 63,510 finger pricks in my lifetime. All this to try to keep my diabetes under control.
During my childhood years my mother kept me on track, but through my late teen years until my mid twenties I rebelled and didn’t take care of myself.
My A1C was as high as 13.5.
In 2014 I was researching Diabetic Service Dogs and came across the Freedom Paws organization. After researching this organization and talking to Tera, I decided this was the route for me to take in order to get my Diabetes under control.
I started the process with Tera to fill out the proper documents and started fund raising for this new adventure I was about to take.
When Tera had dogs available for me to train with I made my trip to Marysville, Ohio. Little did I know this would change my life forever.
There I met Rio, my Diabetic Service Dog, my best friend and my life saver!
I have had Rio almost 3 1/2 years and he has been such a blessing in my life. I cannot count how many times Rio has alerted me in 3 1/2 years. But my guess would be at least 2,500 times. Most of his alerts are telling me my blood Sugar is going up or down, but numerous times he has literally saved my life. Most of these alerts are late at night or while I’m sleeping and I would never know that my blood Sugar was dropping rapidly.
The first year I had Rio my A1C dropped from 13.5 to somewhere around 11.0. Since then my A1C stays around 8.4.
So he has helped my A1C go down 5 points. That in itself is amazing.
Rio not only alerts me with low or high blood sugars but also gets my sugar machine and brings it to me and gets me a Coke when needed.
Rio does not waver, he looks straight into my eyes, follows me around and does not leave my side until he knows I am back to normal.
I don’t know what I would do without Rio! He’s not only a well trained Diabetic Service Dog but is and will always be my best friend and my hero!
Thanks Tera and Freedom Paws for giving me this wonderful gift of freedom and independence that I would not have without Rio.