Service dog changes young girl's life, motivates her to give back

DENMARK, Wis. (WBAY) -- Six years ago, Action 2 News sat down with the Wipfli family. They were raising money for a service dog to help Tristin, 8, with his seizures caused by a rare birth defect known as Schizencephaly.

Allie Wipfli with her family's service dog, Prince (WBAY photo)

The family raised the money they needed and welcomed a golden retriever named Prince into their family a short time later.

Only six years old in 2013, a lot has changed for Tristin's younger sister, Allie, who is now a sixth grader at Denmark Middle School.

"I used to sleep with Tristin, and I used to tell my parents if he was having a seizure so they could give him his seizure medication and take him to the hospital," said Allie. "But after we got Prince, I didn't have to sleep with him anymore. I could just let him do all of the work."

Earlier this school year, she applied for the Green Bay Packers 'Empower' program that inspires youth to become community leaders.

"My essay was a lot about my brother with special needs and how if I got picked I would give back to the community," said Wipfli.

She was selected, giving back by raising money to give another family the chance to get a service dog like Prince from the Oho-based "4 Paws for Ability" organization.

"My original goal for the Penny Wars was less than $500, which is what we were thinking. We raised $923 in just the sixth grade alone, and then we have a GoFundMe with more than $200 on it," Allie said.

"I think all of us were pretty blown away. I was overwhelmed when I heard how much they raised as a class," said Amy Gleeson, Denmark Middle School principal. "It's significant. We've never raised that much money."

Wipfli says for her, it is just the beginning.

"Next year, and for the rest of my school years, we're hoping that we can bring Prince into the school and do a Penny War for the whole school once a year," she said, "then if all goes good, going into other schools and raising money for 4 Paws."

The goal is to raise $17,000, which is the full cost for a family to get a service dog through 4 Paws for Ability.

CLICK HERE for Allie's GoFundMe page



 
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