SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 14 years ago, South Plainfield resident Samantha Kaczmarczyk has relied on a continuous glucose monitor to track sugar levels throughout the day and night.
While the device has an alarm to alert her when levels rise and fall, Kaczmarczyk has been experiencing dangerously low glucose levels when sleeping and, since March, has woken up to an EMT administering a glucose shot on at least six occasions, her levels down to around 28 as opposed to between 80 and 120.
“I am okay during the day; it’s when I go to sleep that I have a problem,” Kaczmarczyk, a duty aide at Riley Elementary School and mother of three girls ages 7, 4, and 7 months, told TAPinto South Plainfield.
“If someone is with me, they will hear it, but at night, it doesn’t wake my husband and it didn’t wake me either,” she continued, noting that on two of the most recent occasions she was home, alone, taking a nap. “Thankfully, my husband came home from work early. It was just a coincidence…If he didn’t leave early that day I don’t know if I would still be alive …”
With her pump no longer doing its job effectively, Kaczmarczyk’s doctor has advised that the only other course of action for the South Plainfield resident is to get a diabetic alert dog. The dog is trained to sniff blood to determine if glucose is dropping or rising before it gets to a dangerous point. The canine is also trained to wake up the patient or, if that doesn’t work, alert someone else in the home.
“I have the pump and everything else that is available but it is not working for me,” said Kaczmarczyk. “A diabetic alert dog is now my only other option.”
While the dog is her only other recourse, insurance will not cover any of the $14,000 to $15,000 cost set forth by Diabetic Alert Dogs of America. Additionally, the organization requires a $2,500 deposit to be placed on a waiting list; it then takes 14 to 16 weeks to get a dog followed by six to eight months of training.
In an effort to help Kaczmarczyk and her family, the South Plainfield Elks #2298 last Saturday held a Polish Dinner to benefit the family. Additionally, friend and co-worker Renee Eggert has launched a local fundraising campaign as well as established a GoFundMe (https://bit.ly/33QLQqe) to raise money for the family.
“Yes, people live with diabetes on a daily basis, but in her case, she has hit a roadblock. This is a hardworking family that just needs our help to come up with this expense that insurance will not cover any of,” Eggert told TAPinto. “I hope the community will help them out and give them a little peace of mind so that they can get this service dog.”
Community members and/or businesses and organizations seeking to help the Kaczmarczyk family can contact Renee Eggert at (908) 917-9967 email@example.com. Additionally, donations, including checks payable to Samantha Kaczmarczyk, can be sent or dropped off to Renee Eggert, 104 DeSepio Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080.
“Whatever the donation, nothing is too small. Anything anyone can give, I truly appreciate,” said Kaczmarczyk. “I am really scared for my life sometimes and don’t want my kids to be without a mother. This dog could save my life.”