JT Graceffa

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My name is JT Graceffa. Because I was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP) I have limited ability to do certain things. Since 2008, I have had my wonderful service dog Melisa by my side, helping me with opening doors, picking up dropped items, carrying small items and turning lights off and on. Melisa has been a hard-working service dog and an important member of my family. She has allowed me to be more independent without asking for more help from family and friends.  She is ten and a half years old and soon will be enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

I have applied to NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans for my second service dog to help me in everyday activities. This highly trained dog can assist me by picking up things that I drop, flipping light switches, opening doors, helping me up when I fall or getting help when needed. My service dog will be able to carry things for me in a special backpack.

In addition, my service dog will be my 24-hour companion and accompany me to the school where I work as a teacher’s assistant, as well as any other event I attend. Many people put forth a great amount of effort and skill in training a service dog. I will spend two weeks at the NEADS campus in Princeton, MA, to bond with and learn how to work with my new service dog.

The true cost of all this specialized training is over $42,000. As a client, I have been asked to raise $8,000, which will go toward training a highly skilled NEADS dog. Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to NEADS in my name to help sponsor my new service dog? Gifts of all sizes would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to meet with you so you can see for yourself how important my service dog is to me. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration.