Hey there! My name is Bennett Lamson and I'm a 30-year-old guy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I grew up in the small town of Sandown, NH but currently reside in Portsmouth, NH. SMA is a progressive neuromuscular disease. Although I am overall in fairly good health, my muscles are weakened to the point where I am 100% dependent for all my physical care. That hasn't stopped me from striving to and succeeding in being the most independent person I can be. I've been getting around through the use of a power chair since the mere age of 2, have lived in the dorms at the University of New Hampshire as well as the University of Southern Maine, received a BA in 2011 in Gender Studies and am constantly doing volunteer/advocacy work with youth all over the state. Something I am very invested in. My work with people defines who I am and who I want to be. In 2001 I was lucky enough to be paired with a wonderful service dog through NEADS named Dottie Star. She lived with me throughout my college years and multiple moves, always providing me with a great sense of security and an enormous amount of help. Picking up things that I drop and pressing blue handicapped buttons were just two of the things she did for me to help me live a successful, fulfilling and truly independent life. Unfortunately, she passed away this past July 5th after nearly 13 years of service. I miss her every day and she will never be replaced in my heart, but I need your help to raise $9500 so that NEADS can pair me with another amazing dog. Living this past month or so without Dottie has been truly difficult and challenging. With your help to reach my goal, I can continue living my life as happily and independently as possible. Thank you!