Ride to Give - Bring Home a Buddy for Gio
$6,465 Raised
104% of $6.2k goal
436 contributors
0 days left
Ended Aug 4, 2014
Please donate here to help us cover the expense of travel, meals and accomodations for two weeks, plus training supplies, dog food, and vet visits so Gio can bring home his new best friend, an Autism Service Dog. More ...

Giovanni Rivera is a four year old autistic child who is sensitive, loving, and has an infectious smile. Gio loves to hum and play with his car collection. He also enjoys music and painting. Gio was born healthy and was reaching his early milestones. His mom Myrna noticed things started to change, there were signs of regression and delay. Gio became nonverbal and was having issues with balance and walking. He was suddenly terrified to go outside, to touch the grass and to hear loud noises. He did not like the feel of certain clothing. Due to Gio's sensory issues he became very frustrated and would bang his head on the floor, into the doors, and the walls. He also developed an eating disorder called PICA, which causes him to crave and injest non food items.

Gio has no sense of danger and runs off. He is a wanderer. Myrna lost him twice...a mother’s worst nightmare. Everyday changes and transitions are difficult for Gio and his meltdowns and behaviors can be exhausting and very difficult to deal with. He has a hard time making new friends in his community, and on the playground. Giovanni does not know how to interpret body language and facial expressions, and often misunderstands people’s intentions.

An Autism service dog will help calm him during anxious, stressful and overwhelming situations. A service dog would be a constant companion and best friend to a child with few friends who understand him. This dog would encourage him to interact with people. Service dogs are trained to calm, distract and redirect an autistic child's behaviors. Gio will be harnessed to the dog when out in public, and his dog will be trained for search and rescue should Giovanni run off or leave the house. Gio receiving his service dog would be a true blessing. It will allow him to gain more independence and provide a safety net for him as well as peace of mind for his family.

Funds have already been generously donated to secure a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability for Gio, but Myrna, a single mom of three with a disability of her own (a very painful non-curable skin condition) does not have the funds needed to go to Ohio for the two week training class this October. Two adults must accompany Giovanni and train along side him.

Ride to Give is eager to help. Please donate here to help us cover the expense of travel, meals and accomodations for two weeks, plus training supplies, dog food, shots, and vet visits so Gio can bring home his new best friend.

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