PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - A 3-year-old boy is battling a rare form of arthritis.
He is non-verbal and his parents say a service dog could make all the difference in helping him with day-to-day activities and to survive.
The family from Oxford is now living in Pearl. Their son Collier has SJIA, Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
He was born with the disease and requires hospital stays when he battles high temperatures and inflammation.
Collier’s mother, Laina Province, says having a service dog would make all the difference.
The problem is the $25,000 it would cost to provide the specialized training for the dog.
“Collier has 105 plus fever, he also has days that he has trouble walking," explains Laina Province. “The dog would be able to help him with mobility on days he was having trouble walking by assisting him with that.”
"The dog would be able to detect fevers and temperatures. The dog would be able to not only detect fevers and his onsets of flares, but the dog would also be able to help him with his developmental delays. It would help him with his anxiety,” she continued.
The family has found a trainer in Georgia, and Province says early detection by the dog would help reduce long hospital stays and possibly life threatening complications.
They have raised $5,000 so far. The family has set up social media pages called “Service Dog For Collier” and plan other fundraisers.