A Greenville woman who is a quadriplegic is traveling hundreds of miles to help her service dog get a stem cell procedure.
A Florida vet says it should extend the life of Kimberly Clarke’s dog black lab Dugan, and reduce his arthritis pain.
Dugan came into Clarke’s life five-years after her accident that paralyzed her lower body, and she says they have now been best friends for eleven years. Clarke says, “I was seventeen and I was riding a horse and she somehow got spooked we think and kind of going a little crazy and after a while I couldn’t hold on anymore, so ended up falling off and breaking my neck.”
Clarke’s mother Bonnie says Dugan “Gives her the confidence to live independently and have a completely productive life as she did before her spinal cord injury.”
Now Dugan is the one who needs help. He has severe degenerative arthritis.
Clarke’s aunt, Dr. Joyce Gerardi, who is a veterinarian in Florida, created a non-profit called “Kindrid-Canines In Motion,” in Kim’s honor, to support disabled Americans, home bound elderly, and American veterans who depend on an assistance animal to live active, productive lives. She also offered a treatment to help Dugan.
Kim and her family hope the two hour regenerative stem cell procedure will make Dugan more comfortable and help him live longer.
The treatment, likely about $1,800, will be done June 20th in Florida and is paid for through “Kindred-Canine” donations.
Kim is still seeking donations for travel expenses.