Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hailey will get her dog

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From page A1 | October 25, 2013 | 6 Comments

Within 24 hours of the Mountain Democrat’s article about Hailey Huntington’s need for a service dog, the $5,700 needed to pay for the dog was raised — through the efforts of an incredibly generous community and two special donors who wish to remain anonymous.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Alexa Fila, Hailey’s mother. “Now we can tell Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions to choose the dog for advanced training.” Advanced training in this case teaches an already trained Labrador retriever service dog to scent on Hailey, to monitor her for impending seizures and to be able to track her if she should leave her home.

Hailey Huntington, 17, suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a very rare form of epilepsy which has prevented her from having a normal life and limited her development. The service dog will allow her and her mother to live more independently and have a companion. It will also help Fila to keep Hailey safe when out away from their home.

“I don’t know if there is a bigger word for ‘thank you’, so I’ll have to just say ‘thank you’, said Fila.

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Discussion | 6 comments

  • Valerie MischOctober 24, 2013 - 11:20 am

    Just another example of the immense generosity of the community we live in. People want to help others in so many ways, it just warms the heart! My son has been the recipient of the community's generosity, so I completely understand Ms. Fila's difficulty in finding the right words to express her gratitude! We say 'thank you' when the cashier hands us our change, and 'thank you' when someone opens the door for us. Somehow 'thank you' just seems inadequate in a situation like this - but, let me assure you, Ms. Fila, the people who have assisted in seeing that Hailey gets her dog KNOW how strongly you mean that 'Thank You'!!

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    Thank you, Wendy for your steadfast attention.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 24, 2013 - 1:36 pm

    I guess it does count asking about the animals in our lives...because this furry friend will mean the world to this young lady!!! Nice job James...and Phil for keeping the story going. Much respect...I wont tell anyone that your a "softy" Phil....lololol

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  • Alexa FilaOctober 27, 2013 - 1:56 pm

    Thank you Wendy Schultz and Mt. Demo for printing this piece explaining the incredible generosity and "rapid response team" this community deployed to help us. Each day still I wake in disbelief: "Was I dreaming, did this really happen, am I dreaming now?" I re-read these articles to convince myself it was not a dream - this community did buy a Hero for Hailey. Fear and confusion are supplanted by tears of immense gratitude (rinse and repeat daily). I've recently taped the articles @ my beside to shorten this process. Ms. Misch, I appreciate your understanding and great example of how a "Thank you" can feel so terribly insufficient no matter the depth of emotion contained in it. To all of you (2 in particular) I am in awe of your kindness and determination to help us. I have followed your posts: encouraging help for us and friendly banter amongst one another. Though I've wished to express my thanks many times, I'm seldom free of Hailey's chatterings about Elmo and fear I'll leave a comment updating you all on Sesame Street letters of the day instead of thanking you (again so small a word) for every word, thought and deed that made this dream come true. It matters more than I will ever be able to explain. Thank you!

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  • Valerie MischOctober 27, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    Alexis - I just found out that we have a friend in common - ask Tiffany about my son Michael... this community, and the Mountain Democrat, has been nothing but loving and supportive of him. Best wishes to you and Hailey!!!

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  • Alexa FilaOctober 28, 2013 - 1:38 pm

    I will ask her of you and Michael when next we speak Valerie. Supportive, kind community indeed. Thank you again.

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