Kelly Bucchere and Lil Laura

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Hi, my name is Kelly Bucchere.  I was born with a birth defect known as Spina Bifida. This has caused complete paralysis of my legs below the level of my knees and partial paralysis in the rest of my legs.  As a result, I utilize a wheelchair for mobility.  I have always been extremely independent, sometimes to a fault. 

In April of 2012, my husband and I found out that we were going to be parents.  While we were incredibly excited, this has led to new challenges.  Some of them are the same as other new parents, others are not.   Our blessing arrived a month early, on December 27, 2012.     

While trying to adapt to being new parents and trying to come up with solutions to all of our challenges, I had an accident causing damage to my left arm and face.  As a result, I now have difficulty with activities that require strength in my left arm and hand.  Now with my son being a toddler, he is quite active and presents new challenges everyday.

Because of the many changes in my life, I thought to contact NEADS.  The last four months has been a blessing. When I received my servuce dog Laura, I was still in the process of adjusting to motherhood and the changes that occur on a daily basis.  I was also still adjusting to my new physical limitations as well as the mental difficulties that go along with a decrease in ability. Laura has been a huge addition to not only me but to my family.  She quickly became part of our family.  She has allowed me to regain some of the independence I had lost.  She helps me to pick up the numerous things I drop, or that are thrown by my toddler, she assists in opening and closing doors, especially when I have a lapful of belongings, and she assists me to perform transfers as a physical assist.  I call her my portable grab bar.

On average, the amount of money it takes to train and raise one dog is about $25,000 and now it is time for me to do my part and help fundraise for NEADS and raise the money I need to be matched with a dog that they will specifically train for me. Our goal is to raise $9,500. So if you would like to help me and my future furry friend, please be a part of my journey in becoming more independent by donating above. Any amount is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for your support.   - Kelly