Family goal: Diabetic alert dog for son, 7
There’s no disputing that dog is man’s best friend.
That’s especially true when your dog can alert you to medical problems before they become life threatening.
Marek Rinehart is a 7-year-old boy from Chester Springs who loves dirt bikes, skateboarding, learning about U.S. military history and has aspirations of becoming a Marine. Marek also unfortunately suffers with Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune disease that comes with a variety of other risks including the possibility of coma, seizures and organ failure associated with Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia.
“Up to eight times each day, and overnight, Marek must have blood taken from his fingertips and tested in a blood glucose meter,” explained Victoria Rinehart, Marek’s mother. “He gets 180 shots a month and it’s amazing how well he’s done with it. He’s had to do things that most adults can’t deal with.”
Exercise, stress and illness can all affect the levels of glucose and sometimes it will change for no apparent reason at all, she said. Additionally, the FDA allows for a 20-percent margin of error in the number the meters report.
Having questioned the reliability of the meters, the Rineharts decided that they would go a different route when it came to monitoring Marek’s levels, and they are hoping to raise the money to get a diabetic alert dog for Marek to have by his side at all times.
“The people we know say they trust the dog over a pump for reliability. In a lot of cases the dog was