Grampians Toy Car Club members have made a significant contribution towards securing and training a therapy dog for Halls Gap's Kelly Pearce.
Kelly became ill at the age of four and since then, she had had epilepsy and can no longer speak.
A therapy dog can be trained to sense seizures and keep the person safe and alert others to the person's needs.
Several fundraising activities have been undertaken to help raise much needed money for kelly and her family, including the sale of Kel's Confectionery.
Proceeds from the sale of Kel's Confectionery goes towards the training of the therapy dog.
The dog is trained over a period of two years to the specific needs of the person and can be a wonderful companion and help.
A fully trained therapy dog costs $30,000.
Kel's seizure alert dog will be arriving in Halls Gap next month. Libby is an eighteen month old Labrador who has been trained in Melbourne by Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs Australia.
The next phase of Libby's training is to come to halls Gap and live with Kelly and her family.
Libby will be supported by a trainer at home and in the community. Libby's training will take two years and she will be trained to suit Kelly's needs.
It is hoped that Libby will be able to sense a seizure several minutes before and then bark. This will alert those around Kel to find a safe place for her so she doesn't fall and injure herself.
Having a reliable warning prior to a seizure will greatly reduce Kel and her family’s anxiety.
Kel can have 10 or more tonic clonic seizures a month and each seizure has the potential for injury.
It is believed that seizure alert dogs sense an impending seizure because of either a chemical or electrical change in the person.
Grampians Toy Car Club members became aware of the need for kelly to have a fully trained seizure dog and decided to donate $500.
The club is always looking to make donations as a result of various hot rod shows and other events to assist the community and members decided at the last meeting to donate $500 towards the cause.
The donation from the Grampians Toy Car Club will go a long way towards ensuring the target is met to train Libby.
A Kelly's parents Andrew and Narelle Pearce towards the training of the seizure alert dog.
The entire Halls Gap community is hoping that Kel, Libby, her trainer and carer will be welcomed when they visit.
Libby will become Kel’s most constant companion and accompany her wherever she shows.