Fam­ily goal: Di­a­betic alert dog for son, 7

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - THE MERCURY - By Mar­ian Dennis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

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

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