Family Raises Money for Diabetic Alert Dog

RENO, Nev. - Two years ago, 10-year-old Gage Bunsness was diagnosed with type one diabetes. He now has to test his blood sugar every two hours. If it gets too low, there's a risk Gage could slip into a coma.

"It's always testing testing testing," Gage said. "Having to stop what you're doing isn't fun."

He even has to test his blood sugar twice a night. Gage's mom, Kimberly Bunsness, says she usually sees her son's blood sugar levels drop when he is sleeping.

"It's just an uncomfortable feeling, going to bed every night and not knowing if your son is going to wake up in the morning," Kimberly said.

Sometimes Gage's blood sugar drops while he is playing. He says when that happens, he has to take a break, and then misses out on being with his friends.

While visiting family in California, Kimberly saw a news story about Diabetic Alert Dogs. These dogs are trained to detect when a person's insulin levels either dangerously drop or become too high.

Kimberly hoped to get one of these dogs for her son, to help him manage his diabetes.

"It's not to take place of testing at all," Kimberly said. "it's just to be able to give Gage a chance to warn him 'hey your blood sugar is dropping'. Cause they don't feel it until it's too late."

These dogs cost up to $20,000 to buy. Most states, like California, have programs to help place these dogs with diabetic people with little cost.

Unfortunately, the Bunsness' couldn't qualify to receive a dog because they lived in Nevada. Our state does not have a Diabetic Alert Dog program.

Determined to help her son, Kimberly and her husband Kevin bought a puppy from a breeder that raises Alert Dogs.

However, they still need to raise about $7000 to train the puppy.

To help with the cost, the Bunsness family hosted a lemonade stand Saturday outside Clothes Mentor where Kimberly works.

The family is also starting a non-profit so other families in Nevada can also receive an Alert Dog.

You can make a donation to Gage and his family, by visiting and searching for '4Paws & Gage'.

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