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Diabetic alert dog gives more freedom to locals

Diabetes affects nearly one in every ten people in Texas. For a rare few, traditional treatments don't work. But, more people are turning to dogs for help.

Diabetic alert dogs are trained from a very early age to detect changes in a person's blood sugar. Their keen sense of smell can tell when blood sugar is dropping.

For one Amarillo man, owning a diabetes alert dog would change his life. Rod Brashears has had diabetes for over 30 years and it has been hard to manage.

"My sugars would drop so rapidly that I don't feel them coming on and before you know it, I'm in diabetic shock.," he said.

The Thompson family, from Amarillo, just recently got a diabetes alert dog for their young daughter Avery, who has a similar kind of diabetes to Brashears'. They tell us the new addition to the family has changed their lives and has given Avery more freedom and comfort.

"Moriah, her dog, lets her go anywhere without me...It's just a whole new world for her," said Avery's mother Melanie Thompson.

Brashears says alert dogs usually cost between $8,000 to $25,000. To help raise money for his dog, Brashears friends are hosting a chili cook off fundraiser, Saturday May 11, from noon to 5, at Sam Houston Park in Amarillo.  

Colleen Nelson, NewsChannel 10.

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