The primary time YDR readers heard of Blair Hagelgans was in 2018 when she shared a visitor column about her expertise attending York School, the place she mentioned some college students bullied her for having her service canine Creed together with her on campus.
Since she was a baby, Hagelgans was identified with a number of medical situations that have an effect on her mind and mobility, together with chiari malformation, syringomyelia and epilepsy. She is a part-time wheelchair person, solely in a position to stroll and stand for small quantities of time.
Hagelgans used her expertise as somebody with invisible sicknesses, an individual who seems wholesome bodily, as a gateway to teach people in regards to the function of a service canine.
Creed was given to Haglegans for seizure alert and mobility. He has been by her aspect of her since 2014.
However just lately, his vet discovered two tumors and identified Creed with most cancers.
The surgical procedure will price $10,000, and Hagelgans is anxious about how she pays for it.
Blair Hagelgans’ Column:Bullied on campus for my invisible sickness & service canine
After she graduated from York School in 2018 with a level in public relations, Hagelgans did fundraising for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“I used to be a kind of individuals that may stroll round within the metropolis and also you’d attempt actually exhausting to keep away from,” mentioned Hagelgans. “It was actually enjoyable, although, as a result of I did very well, and Creed liked it as a result of he all the time bought to see individuals.”
However when the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, she needed to cease working.
“I used to be anxious about working and coming into contact with individuals,” mentioned Hagelgans, now dwelling in Oreland, Pa., “so Creed and I took a while off and stayed dwelling.”
When her fiance and his household caught COVID-19, nobody was in a position to work on the household’s wholesale heating and cooling firm. So she and Creed stepped in to assist. She retains up with recordsdata and Creed steps in to assist her.
“He opens and closes doorways, activates lights, and closes drawers,” mentioned Hagelgans. “Generally he closes them even once I’m nonetheless utilizing them. He is like ‘I do know you did not ask me to shut it, however I did it. I get a deal with now, proper?’
Prospects love being greeted by the joyful golden retriever and the household’s different canine.
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Creed’s vet discovered tumors in his intestines and liver.
The tumor in his intestines is making him throw up two occasions a day. It’s a blockage and is making it exhausting for him to digest his meals from him.
“At first, they thought it was acid reflux disorder, we saved altering his meals and medicine,” mentioned Hagelgans. “He’d be higher for a few weeks after which he’d throw up once more. Then we might change the meals once more, and he’d throw up.”
The toughest half in regards to the surgical procedure is that they do not know which tumor is cancerous or not.
“They believed that they is probably not most cancers however benign tumors that grew as he bought older,” mentioned Hagelgans, “They do not know which one is till they do the surgical procedure and biopsy.”
“The worst state of affairs is that it is most cancers and it spreads,” mentioned Hagelgans. “There may be chemo that you are able to do, however my group doesn’t suggest it as a result of the canine really feel like crap anyway.”
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However she just isn’t giving up on her 10-year-old pup.
“Everybody has requested if I actually need to do this surgical procedure on a 10-year-old canine and spend that a lot cash,” mentioned Hagelgans, “If I knew if it was undoubtedly most cancers and he was having different points, then I’d take into account different issues. But when I can do one thing to assist him, then I really feel like I’ve to. He is 10, he isn’t that outdated.”
The aim is to have Creed as a part of her marriage ceremony in April 2024, on her twelfth birthday.
“If he would not make it to the marriage, I will have a conniption,” mentioned Hagelgans. “I plan to make him a vest out of the leftover cloth from my gown, and he’ll be the flower boy and flower woman and the ring barrier. I would like him to have his personal little cake from him.”
Creed is from a Canine Help group in Alpharetta, Georgia. They’re 501C3 and run fully on donations.
The group will assist with aftercare after giving the service canine to their new handlers, however as a result of pandemic, donations have been scarce.
“I am attempting to make use of my diploma to assist the group so we do not have to ask for as a lot,” mentioned Hagelgans. “It was really over $10,000 for the surgical procedure. I am attempting to boost more cash in order that the extra I elevate the much less I’ve to take cash from them. I would moderately their cash go towards a future service canine than have them pay for mine.”
She began a GoFundMe fundraiser with the aim set at $10,000 to assist pay for Creed’s surgical procedure. To date, the fundraiser has raised $3,495.
“Proper now, we have been ready for the housing market to go down, we have now a marriage coming, we’d like a brand new automotive, and I’ve numerous medical payments as properly,” mentioned Hagelgans. “I’ve had 18 mind and backbone surgical procedures. I used to be just lately identified with Gastroparesis. We’re actually struggling financially, however I could not undergo with the surgical procedure.”
Katia Parks covers public issues of safety for the York Every day Document. Please be at liberty to achieve her from her atKParks@ydr.com. Observe her on Fb (@Katia Parks), Twitter (@parksphoto), and Instagram (@katia.l.parks).