The parents of an 8-year-old boy with diabetes are fighting to keep their son’s service dog in the family.
Jonah Mullins was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2011, when he was 4 years old. A year after his diagnosis, the family had a scare: Despite setting alarm clocks at intervals throughout the night to check Jonah’s blood sugar, which they’d been warned could experience potentially fatal spikes or crashes at any time, one night the alarm didn’t go off. “My wife, she woke up,” Jonah’s dad Jim Mullins says in a YouTube video about his son’s journey. “I guess it’s a mother’s intuition.”
The Mullins family with Luckie, 8-year-old Jonah’s diabetic alert dog. (Photo: Lowe’s)
By the time Jonah’s mom, Rebecca, got to her son, his blood sugar had dropped to 30 — low enough to induce a diabetic coma. “I knew then that we needed some help,” Rebecca said. Her research turned up the idea of a diabetic service dog, which would detect fluctuations in blood sugar and alert the family should Jonah’s get too high or too low.
Despite the dog’s hefty price tag — $25,000 — the Mullins were able to raise the funds to put a down payment on Luckie, a Golden Retriever service dog, and pay for training services. Luckie joined their family in September 2102. The Mullins received financial help from the Employee Relief Fund from the home improvement store Lowe’s, where Jim is an employee, but the family needed to raise the rest of the money — approximately $17,000 — themselves. Though they’ve raised significant funds through a website for donations, the Mullins still owe $5,000.
Luckie, a Golden Retriever service dog, can detect fluctuations in Jonah’s blood sugar. (Photo: Lowe’s)