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Fundraiser Launched for 15-Year-Old to Train Life-Saving Service Dog

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Stryder Doescher’s Beloved Service Dog “Keebler” Is Retiring

Bend, Ore.—15-year-old Stryder Doescher is living with a complex series of diagnoses that impact his health and mobility. His beloved service dog, Keebler, is ready to retire. To keep up with the life-saving support he currently receives from Keebler—including seizure and vitals monitoring at home and at school—Stryder’s family must train a new service dog. The process is intensive and expensive, costing over $20,000 out-of-pocket. That’s why the Doescher family has started a medical fundraising campaign with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live.

“Almost everyone who meets Stryder ends up loving him immediately,” mom Angela explained. Though he has faced debilitating health issues for most of his life, Stryder never complains. He lives with multiple mobility and health-impacting diagnoses, including a rare connective tissue disorder and epilepsy.

Stryder frequently relies on a wheelchair for mobility and receives supplemental oxygen to stay healthy. At home and at school, his service dog keeps him mobile, capable, and safe.

His current service dog, Keebler, is expertly trained to provide life-saving health support to Stryder. Keebler monitors Stryder to look for seizure warning signs, high or low blood pressure or pulse warnings, and low oxygen concerns. Critically, Keebler can also retrieve and pick up items for Stryder, particularly when his range of motion is limited by his wheelchair.

Service dog training requires an expert touch. The Doescher family predicts it will take at least two years to bring a new service dog up to Keebler’s level of support. Grant foundations and insurance coverage can’t fill the gaps, which leaves the Doeschers on the hook for $16,000 in medical training and an additional $6,000 to support hands-on training.

To assist with these expenses, the Doeschers have started a fundraising campaign at:

“You don’t need to donate $20,000 to make a difference in Stryder’s life,” Angela explained. “Even a dollar or a single share on social media makes a huge impact.”

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. That also means funds raised typically will not jeopardize state-based benefits for individuals with disabilities like Stryder. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses.


Written by Emily Progin