Hanae Witkum

From: Brookline, NH
Program: Service Dog for Child with Autism
Minimum Goal: $8,000 | Amount Raised:$1,058

Hi, my name is Hanae! I just turned 16 and got the best birthday wish ever. My parents applied for a Service Dog for me through NEADS!  We went on an interview which I was very nervous about – I get teary sometimes when I have to talk about myself – and we were accepted onto the waitlist!


I have high functioning Autism, formerly known as Aspergers, anxiety and panic disorder.  I am an extremely social girl but I have a hard time recognizing and regulating my emotions; things such as tone and volume of voice and reading non-verbal/body language are very difficult for me. Getting out into the world has been harder and harder as I’ve gotten older because I am easily overstimulated, even things that are meant to be fun can end with me really having a hard time, melting down. When I cannot predict exactly the way things are going to go I get anxious.  Small things such as; which ride do we ride first at an amusement park or who will sleep where when we go on vacation make me anxious.  


The one thing that has always provided me with a sense of calm and peace is my love of animals, particularly dogs. I had a recent experience with my Godmother’s dog, Lili. When I got agitated she just laid across my body and I was instantly calmed. Everyone saw it, my whole body took a deep breathe and completely relaxed.


Getting a service dog could change the quality of my life, my family’s whole life actually. I am the oldest child in a family of 5 and in the past have had fun with my family, however, over the past couple of years, I’ve withdrawn. Becoming agitated and anxious in public is embarrassing, I prefer to be home on my laptop. I would like to change that and get to where I’m excited to go out and about – with the help of my service dog I believe I can do that.  I’m looking forward to showing him or her my family and friends, my favorite restaurant, the mall, Target, and all of my favorite places.


Thank you for reading my story.  I would love for you to become one of my sponsors.


*NEADS clients pledge to raise a minimum of $8,000 for the organization, thus allowing us to fulfill our mission of placing Service Dogs with individuals who benefit from them the most.  Each donation ensures that NEADS will continue to change lives with our World Class Service Dogs.


On our donation form, pick the name of the client you want to sponsor under the Program Menu and check whether or not we can share your contact information with the client. Client fundraising totals are manually updated weekly (not automatically) which allows 100% of each donation to be allocated towards each client’s fundraising goal.

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