BAR HARBOR — Molly Dillon’s family has less than $1,500 left to raise before they can bring the 9 year old’s diabetes alert dog home.
As of two months ago, they had secured only about $3,000 of the $18,000 cost of having a 1-year-old goldendoodle trained to let Molly know when her blood sugar is starting to get too high or too low. Since then, a combination of community fundraisers and individual donations has brought them near the goal.
One night recently, Side Street Café in Bar Harbor put out table tents requesting donations for Molly’s dog, and some of the wait staff donated a portion of their tips. Restaurant owners Jeff and Jenna Young matched the donations for a total of $2,700.
On Halloween day, Oct. 31, Clean Cut Lawns owner Jensen Rich will donate the proceeds for that day’s lawn care work to the diabetes dog fund. Mr. Rich said he and his crew will dress as various superheroes while doing lawn work that day to call attention to the cause.
Molly, the daughter of Heather and Ed Dillon, has had type 1 diabetes since she was 20 months old. She wears a pump that administers a set amount of insulin every hour. Her parents or the school nurse check her blood sugar level every three hours and give her extra insulin if she needs it. But still, her blood sugar can rise or fall unexpectedly.
Molly’s dog will be able to detect when that happens by smelling her breath, because the smell of saliva changes with fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The dog will then alert Molly that her blood sugar is out of balance by gently but firmly pawing at her.
The dog has been in training for the past seven months at Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs in Oklahoma.
Molly is a fourth-grade student at Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor.