“I don’t really have a lot of freedom because my medical condition is so life threatening. But, with an ECAD Service Dog, it will make life easier for my parents and me. I can’t wait!”
Grace Cutshall is a vivacious, fun-loving teenager who enjoys dancing, creating crafts, and hanging out with her friends. She is very much your typical rising high school freshman with one important distinction – she has no autonomic breathing function when she’s asleep or unconscious.
Diagnosed with Congenital Central Hyporentilation Syndrome (CCHS) at the age of six weeks, Grace has always known her medical diagnosis makes her unique. There are only about 1,000 CCHS patients worldwide, but their support community is robust.
“We learned about the freedom and independence a service dog brings from a fellow ECAD family” says Grace’s mom Chris. “Since Grace wants to be able to do all the activities her peers are doing, a service dog that is specifically trained to monitor her ventilator and wake Grace in the event of emergency is critical to her independence.”
Grace had a tracheostomy until 2014, but after its removal she has no outward, visible sign that she is a critical care patient. However, any sleep time turns her room into a mobile Intensive Care Unit. She will never outgrow this genetic condition so she is learning ways to modify her life to ensure her safety. “My service dog will give me the chance to drive a car alone, attend school safely, and eventually go to college on my own. I can’t wait to have my new best friend who protects me!”
Thank you for making it possible for Grace to be safe and independent! Your donation will help bring home her new caregiver and best friend.
Thank you for your generous gifts to ECAD in honor of Grace Cutshall.
Donations are 100% tax-deductible as allowable by law. If your employer has a Matching Gift program,
please complete the form and mail it to ECAD, P.O. Box 831, Torrington, CT 06790.