SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – On Feb. 6, members of South Plainfield PBA Local 100 presented resident Samantha Kaczmarczyk and her family with a $4,000 donation to help the mother of three get the trained diabetic alert dog she desperately needs.
“We read an article about her need for the dog in TAPinto and saw posts on Facebook and wanted to help,” said South Plainfield Police Administrative Sergeant and PBA Local 100 member Jim McConville. “This is a mom from our town with three kids... It’s someone from South Plainfield who needed help.”
Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 14 years ago, Kaczmarczyk had, until recently, relied on a continuous glucose monitor to track her sugar levels throughout the day and night. While the device has an alarm to alert her when levels rise and fall, Kaczmarczyk has, over the past year, been experiencing dangerously low glucose levels when sleeping and woken up to EMTs administering a glucose shot on more than a half-dozen occasions.
With the device’s alarm – designed to alert her when levels rise and fall - no longer doing its job effectively, Kaczmarczyk’s doctor advised that her only other recourse would be to get a diabetic alert dog. The canine, she said, is trained to sniff blood and alert the individual and/or others of glucose levels before they get to a dangerous point.
“I have the pump and everything else that is available but it is not working for me,” Kaczmarczyk told TAPinto South Plainfield back in October 2019. “A diabetic alert dog is now my only other option.”
Despite the alert dog being a medical necessity, insurance will not cover the $14,000 to $15,000 cost set forth by Diabetic Alert Dogs of America. As a result, her friend, Renee Eggert, launched a fundraising campaign last fall.
In just a few short weeks, donations poured in and Kaczmarczyk was able to put down the $2,500 deposit necessary to be placed on the organization’s 14- to 16-week waiting list. Additionally, over the months that followed, donations from residents and local businesses and organizations, including Angelina’s Tavern, the Elks, and the Italian American Progressive League, were also received.
The PBA’s donation, said Kaczmarczyk, combined with the outpouring of support from all who stepped up to help, enabled her to raise the money ‘so much faster’ than she ‘ever thought imaginable.’
Currently, Kaczmarczyk has a few more weeks on the waiting list and then it will be another six to eight months for the dog to be trained. Once training is complete, the remaining balance is due.
“I can’t thank the members of the PBA and everyone else enough for all they have given to us,” Kaczmarczyk told TAPinto. “It would have taken us so much longer and I don’t know if it would have happened within the required time frame. We really appreciate everything everyone has done.”
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