The family of a young Kamloops girl, who at age four faces a series of medical challenges that require a high level of care, is hosting a pair of fundraisers in a bid to obtain a service dog.
Sophia Halbgewachs, who is four-and-a-half years of age, has a rare genetic syndrome called Dup15q, which is an extra copy of a portion of chromosome 15. Some symptoms include hypotonia, epilepsy, cognitive delay, motor delays and autism. In addition, Sophia has gastrointestinal issues and a degenerative disease of the nervous system called ataxia, causing her to lose balance and fall.
Her parents, Steve and Glenna Halbgewachs, describe Sophia as a “sweet energetic light in our lives” who likes to jump on the trampoline, swim, dance and play with her older brother, Jaxson.
The family said a service dog would greatly improve Sophia’s quality of life, including being able to tether her to the animal, provide emotional support and training it to look out for her safety. Between the cost of obtaining a dog from a breeder and training the dog to specifically serve Sophia’s needs, however, service dogs are expensive. The family said it has been advised it would cost $25,000, including testing and equipment also needed.
As such, the family is hosting a series of fundraisers in order to help pay for the service dog. The online events include an auction and music bingo. Bidding for the online auction opens at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 6, and closes on Wednesday, June 9, at 9 p.m.
The online auction can be found online here.
Music bingo night will be held on Saturday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. at a cost of $10 per card. Prizes will be up for grabs.
The online bingo event can be found online here.