TOWNSEND -- Sarah Specht, of Lunenburg, will be holding a charity golf tournament at Townsend Ridge Country Club on Oct. 11 to raise money to pay for a service dog for her son.
Specht's 3-year-old son, Hunter, has a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent seizures.
Getting Hunter a service dog that is trained to handle his condition, Specht said, would help to ease her worries about Hunter being alone, especially while he sleeps.
"Hopefully the dog will be able to alert me that he's having a seizure. Night time seizures can get a lot worse," Specht said.
"I've watched Hunter stop breathing, but if the dog can alert me beforehand, waking him up can help to prevent the seizure," she said.
The service dog will also accompany Hunter during the day, including at school.
"The dogs are trained to sense that he's starting to go into it. Hunter has drop seizures during the day, and the dog will be trained to help him get to that safe place to sit down," she said. "And the dog will be able to help alert his teachers. I'll feel safer having Hunter at school with the dog."
The dog will come from "4 Paws for Ability," an organization based in Ohio that trains service dogs to help those with autism, the hearing impaired and who have lost use of their limbs, among others.
The total cost for the dog is $13,000. So far, Specht said she has raised $8,100 toward the cause through other fundraisers, including an ice cream festival and the sale of bracelets.
She hopes to raise the rest of the money through the golf tournament.
The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. and will cost $125 per golfer, with a meal included. For those who wish to attend the meal but not golf, tickets will be sold for $30.
The money is being collected by the Pepperell Lions Club, which Specht said volunteered to help organize the fundraising.
Beyond the medical benefits, Specht said, having a dog will help Hunter in other ways.
"The companionship helps him. We have dogs in our extended family and Hunter absolutely loves them. He asks to go visit his cousin's dog all the time," she said.
Those who wish to purchase tickets or donate directly to the cause can contact Sarah Specht at 978-430-5425.
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