Fundraiser to help girl get a service dog

Elliana Balder is only 1 but already is “experienced” in the medical field, according to a news release.

She has made numerous outpatient lab and emergency room visits, ridden in an ambulance, stayed numerous days at Akron Children’s Hospital and most recently became a patient at the Cleveland Clinic.

The daughter of Jeremy and Christa Balder of Scio, she has been diagnosed with epilepsy with her seizures occurring mostly at night and when she is falling asleep, according to the release.

It was suggested to the family at Akron Children’s Hospital to get a seizure alert dog to alert the family to an upcoming seizure. This allows them to be with the child to get the child to safety before a seizure occurs. Researchers have found that the body gives off a certain scent from the chemical changes occurring prior to and during a seizure. The dogs are trained to detect it and in their own way go get help for that child.

Elliana has been approved through 4 Paws for Ability to receive a seizure alert service dog, according to the release.

The rescue dogs are carefully selected for each family after a study of the child’s case. They are then trained over a nine-month period. The cost of training each of the dogs is more than $22,000. Each family is asked to raise $13,000 through donations.

Family and friends of Elliana will be holding a benefit dinner and auction toward that goal on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Western Grill located on Main Street in Bowerston.

The cost of the roast beef dinner, which includes mashed potatoes, green beans, roll, dessert and drink, is $10, with $5 of that going to 4 Paws for Ability for Ellie’s dog.

There also will be a Chinese “basket” auction; a luminary sale honoring all with special needs; and a baked goods sale.

The live auction will be held that day also, beginning at 7 p.m. with Wallick Auctioneers volunteering their services.

Various crafters, businesses and sport teams have donated items and gift certificates to help raise funds.

Several other fundraisers also are being planned for later this year.

To read Elliana’s complete story, visit the website under “How to Help … Make a dream come true.”