VIRGINIA BEACH -- Helen Frew suffers from a severe case of type one diabetes, but she now has a diabetes alert dog, thanks in part, to her 10-year-old daughter.
When a local non-profit organization offered to donate a diabetes alert dog to a family in need, Mackenzie Frew wrote them a letter.
"I was thinking 'how am I going to get this done and what it would be like to have the dog,'" said Mackenzie.
It worked, and now Shadow the service dog is a part of this Virginia Beach family, at no cost to the family.
Mark Hackathorn is the founder of CARES (Canine Assisted Rehabilitation and Education Services) in Chesapeake. He trains the dogs and says it's all based on a keen sense of smell.
"And then when the person comes in who is going to get the dog, that scent starts to then permeate to their scent as a transition and they start picking up on it live, coming right out of their mouth with no sample," said CARES founder Mark Hackathorn.
While 13News sat with the Frew family, Shadow nudged Helen with his paw. She checked and her sugar count was in fact low.
"I mean it depends. It could be anytime. It could be in the afternoon and he will re-alert and I have to let him know that I have taken care of it and that I am okay" said Frew
There have been 911 calls and scary times for Helen's daughters. Shadow will help with all that. And a local pet food company will help. It's donating a years' supply of food to the diabetic alert dog!
"It's wonderful, because I don't have to worry anymore and it makes me feel amazing," said seven-year-old Kassie Frew.