Everything changed when Ella began falling.
The tendons in her knees were no longer able to support her.
She could no longer walk on her own.
Initially, Doctors were able to surgically restore much of Ella’s mobility, but it didn't last long. After the first surgery, she was even able to return to dancing, one of her great loves, for two years. However, two more surgeries, each requiring six-months of recovery, changed Ella’s life forever.
Ella was no longer able to dance or enjoy so many things that she loved. Her first year at college was not what she had anticipated. She began her first semester still able to live a fairly active lifestyle, only struggling with her depression and some soreness in her knees. However, by Ella’s second semester, everything changed as the pain slowly but steadily increased.
In addition to her limited mobility, Ella suffers from fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, and depression. A service dog would provide Ella independence and relief for those she now depends on for support. A service dog could help Ella sit and stand on her own, help her undress, retrieve her crutches, and pick up dropped items.
Often, when Ella falls, she has to wait for someone to find her and help her up. “I’m only 19 and fall like the people on those Lifeline commercials. Sometimes, if I fall and I'm out of reach of my crutches or my phone I'm stuck there.” says Ella with a bitter-sweet laugh.
After years of struggling to cope, refusing to resign herself to a wheelchair for life, Ella also began to understand what it was like to live with depression. When asked about it, Ella says, “Unfortunately, the pain and depression feed off of each other. The body can not live without the mind." A service dog is the next step that Ella must take to ensure that she reaches her goals.
For most of Ella’s life, she was an avid dancer and an independent, cerebral, and loving person. She spent her time studying, volunteering for Autism Speaks, volunteering as a coach at the Special Olympics, dancing and enjoying her youth. Rather than succumbing to defeat, Ella is determined to overcome all the obstacles she faces... anything that stands in the way of her achieving her goals. She is currently in college studying medicine, arguably the most time and energy demanding field one can choose. She hauls her books on her back and makes her way through the halls on forearm crutches, praying that she doesn't fall, that the floor is never wet.
Ella needs your help in order to thrive!
DONATE NOW so a service dog can providethe mobility assistance & emotional supportElla so desperately needs.