Hi my name is Josh Werner, I’m a 20 year old college student who has had my fair share of frustrations and challenges in life. I have a rare bone condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, or OI for short. It is a genetic disorder which leads to bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. I have broken over 100 bones (I stopped counting once I got to 100) and have probably had at least 50 surgeries. The only bones that I haven't broken are my spine, fingers and toes. I have basically every bone in my body rodded or had plates put in. I use a power wheelchair to get around.
I was born in South Africa and moved to the USA when I was five. I try and visit my family at least once a year and have flown all around the world, I even flew to England in a full-body cast. I went to my prom with a broken leg, which I broke in the tux shop two weeks before, and didn't say anything until the day after the prom. My last fracture happened in April, my left humorous, upper arm. I flew round trip to South Africa, by myself in May. I only had a sling and a homemade brace.
In 2010 I had a seizure which caused me to aspirate, and then I went into cardiac arrest. The doctors couldn't get my heart to start for about five minutes, which caused lack of oxygen to my brain which caused a TBI, traumatic brain injury. The doctors told my parents that I would never wake up and if I did then I would be brain dead and never be able to function again. I proved them wrong though. I still am not 100% but I am doing better as each day goes by. My goal is to go away to college in the fall of 2016, and a service dog would be a huge help with my independence.
A service dog costs NEADS over $42,000 for training it to my needs and I am being asked to help raise $8,000 towards that cost. Please help me reach my fundraising goals with a tax-free deductible donation. A donation of any size would be greatly appreciated.