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Family and friends raise money for dog to help loved one manage their diabetes

Diabetic Alert Dogs can detect the level of insulin is a person's bloodstream, alerting them when it is too low or high.

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. — Everyone needs someone to lean on. Sometimes, people need a dog to lean on.

Lindsay Graham, a mother and former school teacher from Lenoir City, is surrounded by a wonderful support system of friends and family. She leans on them to help her manage her diabetes after she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 16 years ago.

She said that she still struggles with maintaining a balance within her blood sugar levels.

"For people without diabetes, I don't think they understand that you can consume whatever you want to," Graham said, "But, then you're having to take that amount of insulin to cover what you just ate. Still to this day, I'm learning."

Graham's mom, Cherie House, said the diagnosis was the first case in the family. She said that made it scarier for close friends and family.

If graham's blood sugar gets low at night, she struggles to get out of bed in the morning to normalize her insulin levels.

"Lindsay is one of my best friends," said Anna Russell. "I call her text her every morning, get a text from her make sure she's okay."

Graham's mom shared her friend's concerns.

"I couldn't sleep at night without worrying that that somebody was gonna call in the morning and say she's gone," House said.

To help everyone and keep Graham safe, her family found a solution to reduce her risk — a diabetic alert dog.

These dogs are specially trained to smell the insulin levels in the blood.

"A dog has 10,000 times more sense of smell than a human does, so it's pretty amazing what they can do," House said.

However, a  diabetic alert dog can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000. Even though it would help regulate her blood sugar, Graham said she can't afford one on her own.

"When you have a daughter that may die ... it takes a village to raise a child. It doesn't matter how old they are, still takes a village," House said.

Graham's family and friends held a community event to raise money for a service dog. Right now, Graham is in a bonding phase with a brown poodle named "Bentley."

He was at the event, by her side.

"This dog has completely changed our lives," House said.

If you would like to help Graham raise money for her service dog you can do so on the New Hope Dogs website. You can select the recipient as Lindsay Graham.

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