6 year old boy raises $25,000 for a service dog by selling pumpkins

service dogs help people with diabetes
labradors make great service dogs. © Banter snaps. Unsplash

A six-year-old boy is selling pumpkins to help raise the funds to buy himself a service dog.

- Advertisement -

Ian Unger, from Michigan, USA, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2016. Due to the fluctuations of his blood sugar, the local education authority said that Ian couldn’t ride the school bus unaided. His parents asked them to provide an assistant but the request was denied. The school suggested a private bus, but Ian’s mother wasn’t keen on the idea. Talking to ABC news, Christina Unger said “you’re not doing that to my kind. He’s not going to be any more different than he already is.”

The benefits of a service dog

Taking matters into their own hands, the Unger family started doing some research and soon came across the idea of a service dog. Service dogs can sense when a persons blood sugar is too low or too high. They can then raise the alarm and some have even been trained to dial the emergency services.

- Advertisement -

The only problem was the price; Service dogs cost up to $25,000.

But little Ian wasn’t deterred and started selling pumpkins to help raise the cash. His positive attitude and entrepreneurial spirit quickly won over his customers, and a Facebook post promoting his new business was shared over 10,000 times.

- Advertisement -

$25,000 and counting!

It gave Christina the idea of setting up a fund-raising page, and the donations soon came flooding in. Christina was overwhelmed by peoples generosity: “The first night we raised over $2,000 and when I woke up it was $15000!

As of last Tuesday, the Ungers hit their target and Ian’s new companion will be provided by the Alert Dogs Service.

- Advertisement -

Unsurprisingly, Ian was overjoyed by the news, but he still had time to think about other children in the same situation. Ian plans to donate any extra money from the campaign towards helping other diabetic children secure a service dog.

Read also: Pit bull with a past finds happiness means being tucked into bed at night

Ashley is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, martial arts and meditation. Unfortunately he doesn't have the space or the time to own a dog, so he volunteers as as dog buddy, which basically means he'a a dog babysitter. He walks them, feeds them, and generally just chill out with them. It's awesome.