Finding a furry friend for Rosalie: Kent family fundraises for service dog

After years of searching, the Jewett parents finally feel they have diagnosed their daughter.

Rosalie Jewett is a happy and active 10-year-old girl who suffers from seizures. Her family hopes to raise enough money to buy a service dog to be by her side.

Rosalie Jewett is a happy and active 10-year-old girl who suffers from seizures. Her family hopes to raise enough money to buy a service dog to be by her side.

After years of searching, the Jewett parents finally feel they have diagnosed their daughter.

“Rosalie has severe epileptic seizure, is a cancer survivor and is mentally handicapped,” said her mother, Shawna. “But more than anything, she is a content, happy girl who brings joy to our family.”

The Jewetts are hoping to raise $27,000 needed to purchase a service dog for 10-year-old Rosalie. The dog would be trained to alert Rosalie and her parents when a seizure is about to occur, help take care of Rosalie during an episode and interact with her if she is upset.

“More than anything, this dog can be her companion and make her feel like she’s never alone,” Shawna said. “My husband and I both work, we have three children younger than Rosalie and we just don’t have the time to give her the attention she needs.”

The Jewetts hope to get the service dog through 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit agency that places mobility, hearing, seizure, autism and emotional assistance dogs with children and adults who have a disability. They have a profile of Rosalie on the 4 Paws’ website where people can donate.

“The Jewetts are great, warm people who deserve the best,” said Virginia Larsen, a family friend. “I hope Rosalie is able to get her service dog soon because I know she could use the comfort of having someone there by her side.”

Rosalie was 6 months old when she was diagnosed with leukemia and 10 months old when she received a bone marrow transplant.

“For the next year, Rosalie could not risk exposure to any illness or disease,” Shawna said. “She couldn’t even touch the dirt outside or receive flowers.”

Shortly after recovering from treatment, the Jewetts noticed Rosalie consistently falling asleep at times during the day.

“Her head would just be dropped in her high chair,” Shawna recalled. “We thought she was just tired so we would put her to bed. Soon, we discovered she was actually having serious seizures.”

The road since then has been very long for Rosalie and her family. There are stretches of time that are seizure free, but the types, effects and even the triggers of her seizures have changed many times throughout her life.

Rosalie’s common triggers are lack of sleep, too much activity and being told “no.”

“Sometimes she will have two seizures in a day and other times she’ll have 30,” Shawna said.

Doctors and therapists first believed that Rosalie could develop normally if her seizures were ever able to be controlled. Now they say it is highly unlikely her seizures can ever be under control. She is many years behind her peers.

Rosalie is homeschooled because the frequency of seizure activity affects Rosalie’s behavior and mood. She is aware of the seizures and can become panicky, distraught and feel unsettled.

“She lacks common sense and, with her mental handicap and developmental delays, meeting her needs is often difficult,” Shawna said. “We are looking forward to how a seizure/multipurpose assistant dog will help in her daily life.”

The Jewetts have been hosting fundraising events locally. The next event is a garage sale, car wash and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Trinity Baptist Church, 18652 116th Ave SE, Renton. The family already has raised $1,130.

To donate, visit 4pawsforability.org and search for Rosalie Jewett. People also can send money in Rosalie’s name at: 4 Paws For Ability, Inc., 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, OH, 45385.


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