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Algonquin family raising money to buy diabetic service dog

Published: Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 11:07 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 12:28 a.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – An Algonquin family is trying to raise money to buy a diabetic sniffing dog.

Five-year-old Madison Trent was diagnosed two years ago with Type 1 diabetes, which can lead to quick drops in blood sugar levels, said Kristi Trent, Madison’s mother.

In March, the Trent family put down a $4,000 deposit with Alert Service Dogs, based in Indianapolis, to begin training for the special type of animal, Kristi Trent said. The dog costs $20,000.

The dog is being trained to react to the chemical change produced by blood sugar highs and lows, according to the Alert Service Dogs website. The family expects the dog to be ready by the late spring or summer.

“We’re really looking for it to help us, especially at night ... to catch low blood sugars,” Kristi Trent said.

Madison wears an insulin pump to help with her condition.

Kristi and her husband, Zac Trent, still monitor her glucose closely, as Madison can’t tell when her blood sugar level is too high or too low.

“Sometimes she feels hungry, but every time a kid feels hungry, you can’t stick them,” Kristi Trent said.

The cost of the dog isn’t covered by insurance, Kristi Trent said. The family began holding bowling and golf outing fundraisers.

Kristi Trent added the family might try another golf outing again.

“It was really successful,” Kristi Trent said. “A lot of money was raised.”

To help purchase the dog, the Lions Club of Algonquin recently donated $2,500 to the family. The club also plans to give a portion of the proceeds from its annual Christmas tree sales to the Trent family, said John Cygan, club spokesman.

Money that was donated to the family after the death of Zac Trent’s mother also is going toward the purchase of the service dog, Kristi Trent said.

For information or to contribute, visit www.alertservicedogs.com.

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