Alayna Mendenhall loves choir and science and, in many ways, is just like any other 10-year-old in the fourth grade. However, Alayna’s life is a bit more challenging than the other kids at Massillon Intermediate School in Ohio. That’s because she also has spina bifida.
Monica Mendenhall, Alayna’s mom, says doors are a big challenge for her daughter, who can’t let go of her walker to open them. Even though she knows the school looks out for Alayna, she hopes to get a service dog to assist her and help keep the girl safe and comfortable.
The family needs to raise $8,000 to cover the costs of the dog and specialized service dog training. Alayna has started selling pot holders to friends, family, classmates, her mom’s coworkers, and even strangers to make her dream of getting a service dog a reality.
Alayna says the dog will not only help her to be more independent, it will give her a confidence boost at school. She hopes the dog will take some of the attention away from her and get her classmates to stop asking so many questions about why she uses a walker.
Here’s hoping Alayna welcomes her new service dog home very soon. To support her fundraising efforts, please visit her Etsy shop.
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