Meghan Henderson has had more than her share of health challenges, and she’s now hoping that the Verona community can help her get a resource she very much needs: a service dog.
At 14, Henderson was was diagnosed with Achalasia, the total paralysis of the esophagus. By 17, she could no longer eat or drink. She had surgery to make a soft diet possible, but was in a car crash that year that damaged her spine. Yet she raised two children and worked as a surgical dental assistant until her latest setback: a diagnosis of Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma. The rare autoimmune disease affects the heart, lungs and other vital organs and also causes a hardening and tightening of the skin.
Confined to a wheelchair, Henderson is fundraising for $24,500 to get a trained service dog from Educated Canines Assisting With Disabilities (ECAD). Having the dog will help Henderson to open and close doors, put on her coat and take it off, and give her family some peace of mind.
“I try my best to show my children that through all of my health struggles and uncertainties, I want to be someone they look up to,” Henderson wrote on her fundraising page. “My service dog will allow me to be me.”
You can find Henderson’s ECAD fundraiser here.