Centerville community helping family raise funds for boy’s service dog
- October 16, 2022
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CENTERVILLE, Utah — October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and one Utah family is on a mission to help their son.
The Pilcher family said their community in Centerville is stepping up to help them.
“We have three little boys: Cyrus, Jericko and Apollo. Cyrus is our oldest and he is 7,” said Morgan Pilcher, sitting in their living room with the older boys jumping on the sofa next to her.
Cyrus loves Halloween, his brothers, spending time with his family, and dogs. His family wants to get a dog for him. To this little boy, getting a dog is more than a pet – but his family trying to keep him safe..
“Cyrus runs away and we’ll be in a parking lot and he’ll get out of the car and just take off or in the store and he’ll take off and run out the door, into a busy parking lot. Or here, he’ll just run into the street,” explained Morgan.
It’s called “eloping” – and can be a trait for people with down syndrome, like Cyrus.
“There’s so much good that comes with down syndrome,” said Morgan. “But there’s also a mental and physical, an emotional toll that it can take. And especially at this stage of life for kids, where they are still almost toddler like, but at an older child physicality.”
That’s why the Pilcher family is trying to raise $10,000 to get a service dog for cyrus.
“It will be dedicated to Cyrus, it will always be attuned to him and with him, so if we are going out in public then we can do a harness with Cyrus and the dog so the dog will keep Cyrus away from any danger areas, and can also keep him with us, said Morgan.”
Cyrus’ parents, Morgan and David, say they are about halfway to their goal, and are trying different ways to fill the jar.
“David has been doing oil and brake changes on cars by appointment at our house and all the funds that we get from that we’ve been collecting for our fundraiser.” They also had a bake sale to help raise more money.
Mike Carlson founded Golden Healer Service Dogs – a local non-profit that helps get people the kind of service dogs they need.
“It’s amazing to see the kids and the lives uh the change in life that happens when the service dog comes into their life.”
But, to make a difference like this, is not cheap and takes resources.
“It takes anywhere from two to three years. It costs the organization somewhere between forty to sixty thousand dollars,” explained Carlson. “There’s a lot of goes into the training with all of the efforts and time there, boarding and just keeping and raising the dog.”
But, the family says that through this fundraising process, they found support that never expected to receive.
“It’s made a huge difference. It’s been amazing. Help us feel real included in the community. And getting to know more people in the community,” said David.
And they’ll continue to do everything they can for this sweet boy, with the biggest smiles on their faces.
If you want to help Cyrus and his family get a service dog can do so on the Golden Healer website.