Hi, My name is Ruby.
Here’s what I want you to know about me: I’m 12 years old and lot of people tell me that I am a really cheerful young lady. I love to help cook dinner (chopping the veggies is my favorite), and to play games of cards or Mario Kart (I am a little bit competitive). I don’t mean to brag, but I am also tough, brave and I don’t give up. Last of all, I happen to have cerebral palsy (CP).
I took my first steps without help at 5 years old. Since then (I’m 12 now), I’ve had a ton of surgeries, botox injections into my tight muscles, physical therapy, and exercise. I built up the skill and endurance to walk a mile without any support in 2016. But that summer I needed a hip reconstruction surgery to make sure the ball of my thigh bone doesn’t come out of my hip socket (prevent future hip dysplasia) - ouch! As a result of the surgery, I lost the ability to walk, and was in a wheelchair for 6 months.
I have slowly regained my skills and strength, and I am now using a walker and building up my endurance again. Sometimes I trip, so that’s why I need the walker. I have a reverse walker right now, and I really like that it has a seat so I can rest when I need to. Sometimes I fall, and that is pretty embarrassing, so I usually don’t like to talk about that.
I wish that people knew how hard I have to work to do stuff that is just easy for most people; and that even though I don’t look any different from a person without CP, a lot of things are much harder for me. My cousin (who is becoming a nurse) gave me the idea of getting service dog to help me walk, and I have been super excited ever since. A “mobility support service dog” has a harness with a handle that will give me just enough balance support to let me walk without falling down. BUT, then we learned that most mobility support dog trainers have a 2 - 3 year waiting list!
After a long search, we finally found MADE in Texas (https://www.madeintexasassistancedogs.org/about-made, only 7 hours from home, and run by super-great people), and I will be matched with a dog in October of this year. After some more training to teach the dog skills just for me, my dog will come home in the spring of next year. Having the dog will make it much easier for me to get through doors (that is really tricky with a walker) and getting over small steps or steps that don’t have railings; like curbs. One thing I am really looking forward to is that having a dog will give me less awkwardness in talking to other people.
Hello, our names are Troy and Laura; and we are Ruby’s parents. We are all very excited about how the service dog will grow Ruby’s mobility and her spirit. Not only will the service dog directly assist her, but going on daily walks with the dog will be a fun source of exercise that we expect will accelerate her growth in strength and ability. If you like to learn more about CP, we invite you to check out the Cerebral Palsy Foundation website http://yourcpf.org/statistics/. Here is a link to some fun videos about how to start a conversation with someone with a disability http://yourcpf.org/just-say-hi/zach-anner/.
With this fundraising campaign, we invite you to join us and participate in Ruby’s journey toward greater independence by making a donation to MADE in Texas. Your donations will be completely tax deductible, AND your donation will directly support the training of a dog for Ruby.
For our part, we would like to use our talents to thank you for your gifts. Troy will be filling the workshop with sawdust making boxes for the largest gifts, Bekah will be exercising her skills with the brush to do watercolor calligraphy for other significant gifts, and Ruby will be using her excellent penmanship and verbal skills for the thanks you to everyone. Thank you so much for joining Ruby and us on this journey. We will be keeping everyone posted as to how things proceed with dog matching and orientation.