Project Description

Eliza & Aurora

Amazing Aurora

I hope I have the capacity to explain how incredibly Aurora has impacted my life.Approximately two and a half years ago I was diagnosed with juvenile enthesitis related idiopathic arthritis. I remained clueless as to what that meant until I had to start giving myself chemo shots. I hadn’t even started high school when I started to lose my hair and be seriously impacted by my arthritis. Swollen knees kept me in bed and several times out of the week my mother had to help me out of bed, get dressed and help me with everyday activities that many take for granted.I knew when I started having monthly IV infusions that I would never be able to live an independent life if the progression of my disease didn’t stop and the future looked bleak. Not only were many of my problems medical, I became introverted and didn’t socialize with the kids at my school because I didn’t know any of them. What was I supposed to tell them about myself? That I can’t get my pants on by myself and that I needed my mother to cut my food for me at age 14? Two years later I still feel like a pincushion and my symptoms, lab work and radiology are getting worse. This is where Aurora comes in to save the day.At first, I despised the idea of a service dog because I thought it would only define my disability but of course I was proven wrong. Now when I am in public, especially in my wheelchair, people don’t look at my physical indicators of disability, but the wonderful service dog glued to my left side. Having Aurora has made me more active, more social and much happier.Not only is she learning to open doors and pick up things on the floor and hand them to me, she helps me get up off the floor without any help – and she gives me hope. This hope derives from the desire to be an independent adult in the future no matter how sick, swollen or weak I am, physically. She knows when she needs to lend me a paw emotionally and physically, which is invaluable to my family and me. I’ve always had big dreams but now that I have Aurora to help me I know that they aren’t impossible. Thank you so much, Guardian Angels for pairing me with the most wonderful service dog you have (this may be disputed by the other recipients) and for giving me a companion that will never cease to bring me hope (and the things I drop on the floor).

Eliza and Aurora