Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting closer!!!

41 days until we leave for Xenia to train at 4 Paws For Ability! Hannah is getting VERY excited to meet her new friend. It is only 3 weeks until we get to find out which dog is ours. We will get a picture and a description of our dog. I will post it, when we get it....

We had a very big meeting at Hannah's school yesterday. Things went fairly well. Most everyone is excited about Hannah's new friend, but there is one or two that continue to have concerns. (Isn't there always one or two in the bunch???) My feelings are that nothing but positive can come of it and this will benefit Hannah in so many ways.....
We can't wait!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Neurology called today to schedule Hannah in the monitoring unit. We will be heading to Cincinnati January 5-10. This will be an exceptionally emotional time as Gary's military ceremony is Jan 3rd. That will be the last time we see him for one year.
However, we are excited to get this last step out of the way to see if she is a surgical candidate.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wonderful News!!

We just found out today that Brookville VFW is paying for our hotel stay while we are training at 4 Paws!!! I cannot believe the generosity and how this community has come together to help us. It really is overwhelming and so nice to know there are still nice people in the world....What a beautiful message that is sending to our children.

We got word yesterday that Hannah will be going back into the epilepsy monitoring unit soon. They will be calling to get her on the schedule. It would be wonderful to have our dog with us for this trip to the hospital!!!

Only 68 days until training!!!!! (but who's counting????)

Monday, November 17, 2008

We have the class dates!!!

It has been a while since I have updated....sorry.... We officially have all of the money in for Hannah's dog. They have started training her dog, though we do not know which dog it is yet. We will find out two weeks before class who the new member of our family will be. The anticipation is definitely building!! The February class dates at 4 Paws is January27-February5 2009. (That is 70 days from today!!!) I was so glad it was earlier rather than later! It is so nice to have a date, as it seems to really make it official. I was able to reserve our hotel and figure out other arrangements now that we have dates.

Hannah is doing okay. It is a rough time for her right now. We purposefully have her on a lower dose of medication so we can establish some regularity of her seizures. We are going back into the epilepsy monitoring unit at Cincinnati Children's Hospital soon so we can capture a couple seizures on EEG. Once we have that, the neurosurgery team will meet and discuss whether surgery is an option for her. If they decide to go ahead, things could move pretty quickly....we shall see.

Gary is officially on active duty status. He is training in Ohio or Michigan everyday now. January 3rd is Gary's official ceremony and then we won't see him again until next January. (He will still be in the states until March, and then to Iraq). We are trying to prepare for his departure, but it is difficult to anticipate until it actually happens. It helps looking forward to bringing Hannah's dog home.

This picture of Hannah was taken at the fall weekend retreat of Camp DreamCatcher. Hannah has made so many friends at camp. They all have one thing in common.....epilepsy. She loves going to meet up with her friends.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Visit to 4 Paws!

We finished our video for 4 Paws, so we decided to take a drive and hand deliver the video! We were so excited to see all of the dogs and know that one of those will be Hannah's. They have sooo many dogs to work with. We got to meet Karen, the director, and Jeremy, the trainer. He is the one who will ultimately select Hannah's dog for her. We also got a tour of the facility.

Almost all of our money is in now, we are awaiting the final count. She told us that we would be in the February class!!! So exciting! That is only 6 months away. We won't find out who Hannah's dog is until about two weeks before class starts. We had a great day....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We are almost there!!!

We had another fantastic weekend! We had our silent auction at the Brookville Picnic to help with travel expenses and such. I believe we raised about $800. Many people came by and showed their love and support.
We are looking into which type of fence we are going to put up in the back yard. It will be so nice to pay that in full!
This Tuesday, the 29th, is our Antiquities picture pick up day. Everyone should have their time to come and get their photos. The pictures turned out to be wonderful fund-raiser. We raised $3000 with the picture coupon sales and bonus money and then another $1500 with the bake sale and donations. A total of $4500!!!! FANTASTIC!!!!
Thanks again to First United Methodist Church for allowing us to hold the event at the Arlington Church. It really worked out well. And again, thanks to ALL who helped pull both of these events off. I could not have done it without you!!!
We are working hard to finish our video to send to 4 Paws about our family. Once that and the money is completely in, Hannah's dog will be selected and the advanced training will begin!!!! I can hardly wait.
Hannah spent the last week at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. We are in phase 1 of the surgical process. The doctor's want to be sure that her seizures are coming from the same area. We do this by inducing seizures and doing MANY neuro-imaging tests. We had a VERY long week, but we did gain some great information. Unfortunately she did not have enough seizures, so we will be going back for another 5 day stay. I will keep everyone posted....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fund-raiser success!!!

What a weekend....The Antiquities fund-raiser went fantastic. We ended up taking pictures of 131 families!! Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and to everyone who helped this weekend.
We are headed to Cincinnati Children's Hospital tomorrow for the rest of the week. We are starting the process to see if she is a brain surgery candidate. It will be a rough and very long week. Please keep us in your prayers....
Next Saturday we are having a silent auction at the Brookville picnic to help raise money for travel expenses. We have some awesome items to auction off!!! Stay tuned...
I will give an update on totals from this weekend as soon as I have them....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Location for fund-raiser!!

I finally have the location for Hannah's event on July 18-20. The Antiquities photos will be at the Arlington United Methodist Church on National Road. They are so kind to open their doors for us and bless us by holding this event.

I am very pleased to announce that to date we have approximately half the money raised for Hannah's dog!! I am continually humbled and amazed at the generosity of everyone.

An article about Hannah and the fund-raiser will be in the Brookville Star TODAY!! Look for it. I think it turned out really nice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has already given up their time to help us. And thank you to those who have donated money for Hannah and her furry friend. We are forever grateful...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving right along!!!

Wow. We have had a fantastic start to this fundraising event! It is so humbling to know how generous and giving people are. Many people are selling coupons for the photo shoot as well as collecting donations.

We are also making and selling dog biscuits (to go along with the dog theme!!). A HUGE thank you to Tonya for kicking this off for us. You are awesome. Hopefully many doggies received good treats tonight!! We will have these for sale at the photo shoots, July 18-20.

Thank you to everyone who has been so generous in giving their time to help us. We appreciate more than you will ever know!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fundraiser scheduled July 18-20

We have decided on the fundraiser for Hannah!! Antiquities is a photography fundraising group that will take old fashioned, "antique" looking photographs of children. The pictures will be sepia tone with a splash of color. We will sell coupons for $10 that can be redeemed for a 10x13 photo. What a great deal! The money we receive is not based upon how much people spend on packages, but that they just show up for their photo session. The photo sessions will take place on July 18, 19 and 20th. The place is yet to be confirmed, but I will let you know as soon as possible. The props and clothes are provided by Antiquities. There are incentives for those who help sell coupons; by receiving free packages of pictures. If you are interested in helping to sell coupons, please let me know.

The photograph's are absolutely beautiful and really good quality. I look for this to be a very successful fundraiser for Hannah. If you would like to know more about Antiquities, I have provided a link on her blog site.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let the Fund Raising Begin!

We have officially been accepted for a service dog placement! We are in the beginning stages of choosing fund raising events.. I will certainly keep everyone posted when these are determined. It is a wonderful feeling to finally have started this journey. I know this will be a life changing event for Hannah and our entire family. Let the FUN begin!!

Beautiful Hannah...

How this journey started....

Hannah was born prematurely at 34 weeks gestation. She was a relatively healthy preemie; initially having difficulty maintaining body temperature and needing to grow. She weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces at birth. When she was four months old she began to drool, non stop. We were told the first year she was "teething." At 18 months old, we really started searching for reasons of why her shirt was always soaking wet. We saw various specialists who always sent us to another specialist, saying "everything looks okay." She spent years in oral motor/feeding therapy to help her not to drool. It wasn't until she was four years old and in preschool that we started to get some answers. Her preschool teacher commented one day that she wasn't reponding when her name was called. I took this information to her pediatrician who then orderd an EEG, "just to rule it out." Much to our shock and amazement, the results showed, she was having seizures. That is the day our journey REALLY began. Once she began taking seizure medication the drooling almost stopped completely. (She will still drool to this day when she is having seizure activity). Since then, it has been a roller coaster; countless medications and medication changes. She has never really reponded well to any medication.

About two years after she was diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctors noticed that her blood pressure was running high. After many tests, she was diagnosed with hypertension. We still are not sure why, but her cardiologist feels her blood vessels are thicker than normal.

About this same time, we also began looking into why Hannah was such a horrible sleeper. She would thrash, talk, move every which way, during her sleep. The sleep studies revealed that she has alveolar hypoventilation sydrome, which means she has too much carbon dioxide in her system when she sleeps. To help this, she wears a BI-PAP at night. This has been monumental in giving her more effective and quality of sleep.

Every day is a challenge for Hannah and our family as a whole. Blitzen has been an absolutely wonderful addition. She calms herself sometimes just by petting and loving on him. He has been trained in behavior disruptions and will sometimes be able to stop a meltdown from getting out of control.
It has been extra hard on the whole family since daddy is deployed to Iraq. He has been gone since January 09 and will gone until Jan 2010. We get to talk with him by phone and on the web cam; which is nice, but not the same!! Blitzen has helped to make his absence go just a little smoother....