My name is Robert Bilotta I am 30 years old and live in Worcester, MA. I was diagnosed with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy (MD) when I was a year old. In 2002, thanks to Boston Children’s-the best hospital in the world and the immeasurable gift from a donor-I received a heart transplant to correct cardiomyopathy caused by MD. Since my surgery I’ve strived to live a “normal” life but more importantly- my life; being an active member in my community, enjoying family and friends, and living independently. I graduated from Worcester State University in 2010 and now work in the Independent Living field as counselor and life skills trainer for young adults with disabilities.
Two of my coworkers are NEADS clients and I got to see how much their dogs help them and the companionship they provide. After realizing the impact a service dog could have on my life I decided to apply for a service dog and was accepted this past summer, I’m pumped to say the least. A dog from NEADS will help me greatly with my day to day tasks and make my life easier. A service dog will be trained to retrieve and carry objects, open doors, alert someone on command and several other tasks. I know a dog would greatly improve my quality of life and help me maintain my independence plus, dogs are just incredible. It costs NEADS over $42,000 to raise and train each dog, I am being asked to fundraise $8,000 to offset this cost. Please consider making a donation to help me reach this goal, any amount is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your help!