WAITSFIELD, Vt. – A boy who saved every penny he could find for 4 years finally raised enough money to buy a service dog to help manage his diabetes.
“As they say, every penny counts!” 8-year-old Aiden Heath of Waitsfield, Vermont told WHTM.
Ever since learning about diabetes dogs, Aiden stored his extra change in jars around the house, saving every penny to afford the $15,000 price tag. Diabetes dogs are specially trained to monitor glucose levels and alert their owners to a drop in blood sugar.
“They can sense it 20 minutes to 30 minutes before the blood meter actually tells you that you’re low”, said Jenni Heath, Aiden’s mom.
Aiden was diagnosed when he was 3 years old. Ever since, his mom gets up 3-4 times each night to check Aiden’s blood sugar levels, the family told the Valley Reporter. Having a service dog would mean a full night’s sleep and peace of mind for Aiden.
Earlier this year, when Aiden was $9,000 shy of his goal, news coverage of his story brought in more than $20,000 in donations. Jenni was able to put a down payment on a chocolate lab named Angel in Nevada who was training to become a service dog.
Jenni told ABC News that they watched Angel grow through photos and videos. Angel recently passed all her tests and arrived to Aiden’s home on Monday morning.
“Aiden is over the moon,” Jenni Heath told ABC News. “He was on pins and needles waiting for her.”
The family says they are grateful for everyone’s support throughout the process.