From the moment I was born, life was overwhelming. I was born two months premature and weighed only one pound eight ounces. I was given the name Halley that day in hope that I would survive and shine. My dad, on active duty in the U.S army, flew in with the uncertainty of my survival. As a preemie, I required multiple blood transfusions and was in the NICU for six weeks before going home on an apnea monitor. I faced many obstacles in the years to come; two years after I was born I was diagnosed with a degenerative kidney disease that would force me to undergo 6 biopsies, 4 rounds of chemo and multiple hospital stays that have lasted up to 2 months.
In addition to my chronic kidney disease, I now struggle with Tourette's Syndrome. My Tourettes wasn’t something that I was diagnosed with till later in my life; it didn’t appear until almost a decade after I was diagnosed with my Kidney Disease. My struggle with Tourette's makes daily tasks like cooking, talking, and even doing school work nearly impossible. As a young girl, I faced the loss of my mother and was raised by my father, who is my true hero. My unfortunate circumstances cause me to suffer from PTSD.
Due to my Tourette's, I struggle to be independent and confident; my dad is afraid to let me go for walks and even cook by myself because of my ticks. My hope for a more normal life is a service dog named Diamond. She can give me independence and prevent me from being sent home from school because my school can’t handle my ticks. She may not be my dad, but she’s my hope when all the medications and treatments have failed me. There are days that I arrive at our training sessions when I have been ticking for days and even weeks at a time and my ticking stops within minutes of being in her presence. Just being in her presence is magic, she’s a protector, comforts me when I don’t even realize I need it and alerts me to my medical conditions. Diamond may not be a doctor or medication but she’s my cure.Please help me to raise funds so that Merlin's KIDS can help another special child to have their very own Diamond, a friend who protects, comforts and loves them unconditionally, and keeps them safe.