Camryn and Sunny, a Diabetic Alert Dog a1

Camryn and Sunny

I had no idea how much this verse would mean to me until my precious daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Out of nowhere, our life changed drastically. I remember that dreadful day, she was so weak and not herself, we rushed to the After Hours at Children’s Hospital the day before Thanksgiving only to find out her blood sugar was over 1000.

For that year of recovery we went to the beach, camping, enjoyed everything normal families do, mainly because she was able to be insulin-free for almost that entire year. At the hospital, it was known as the honeymoon phase, but for us, it was a time of restoration. A time to hold dear everything we had taken for granted before that dreadful diagnosis.

Then, almost a year to the day, on a Sunday morning, we would be awakened by her and myself throwing up. Oh, no wonder she wasn’t feeling well, I thought, now we have a stomach virus. Later I would begin to see her labor to breath. We left frantically for the hospital only to find out she was in full blown ketoacidosis and her triglycerides were 7500, practically unheard of. We were in ICU for quite a while. They began to try to put the pieces together, but it wasn’t making much sense to them because her heart was under extreme stress. She had a long road to recovery, but thankfully, we were able to go home in time for Thanksgiving.

When we were in the hospital with Camryn, I made a promise to her, that even though she had to fight so hard to be healthy and strong, I promised something good would come out of this. Then, I happened to come across this amazing website, Service Dogs Alabama!!! I began to read and thought wow, this is how you show the God kind of love. Not only are they blessing these precious children and veterans with a gift that can help save their life, they are teaching life, love and companionship to people in prison who need a second chance too, the very definition of grace.

To me the amazing gift of the whole organization can be summed up in this one quote “He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” Martin Luther King Jr. They are giving inmates, who need forgiveness, a second chance to love and be loved through these wonderful service dogs and at the same time blessing those who desperately need a life saving service dog.

I remember feeling like I had been under water and was finally able to come up for breath, that is the only way I know how to describe it. God had directed me to the place he honored, Service Dogs Alabama!

The freedom Sunny gives Cam, the companionship and understanding, and the life-saving alerts that allow us all to breath easier are just a few of the PRICELESS gifts we have been given. We as a family, are forever changed and humbled by this amazing gift they have given to our little Camryn Rae and the whole experience has taught us a new level of what love and grace truly is!

--The Hickman Family