SCHAUMBURG, Ill., April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- When Johnathon Wojciechowski of Bensenville, IL, was seven years old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and for the last seven years has altered his life to battle this debilitating disease. Now recently having started high school at Fenton, Johnathon has received a highly trained Diabetic Alert Dog (D.A.D.) from the Ron & Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation, with partial sponsorship from HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION in Schaumburg, IL.
Named "Pickles", Johnathon's new constant companion is a black Labrador Retriever trained by Santo Foundation trainer Julie Noyes. With his keen sense of smell, Pickles can detect when Johnathon's blood sugar level is too low or too high, and will alert by barking and pawing to draw attention to the issue so that immediate remedy can be made.
"Johnathon has to test his blood sugar up to 10 times a day, but all tools are not 100% reliable," explained his mother Tammy Jo Wojciechowski. "Pickles can now help with monitoring."
As many know, baseball great Ron Santo who played for the Chicago Cubs for 13 years lived and played with Type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, after his retirement, the diabetes necessitated the amputation of both legs below the knees. He passed away in 2010 due to bladder cancer, and had a service dog by his side. During his life, Ron supported diabetic research, and since his passing, Ron's wife Vicki has continued the fight, now with this special organization to support those in need with D.A.D.s.
Vicki Santo explained, "Diabetic Alert Dogs provide many benefits to their owners, from guarded freedom, peace of mind and the confidence to follow their dreams." Johnathon's family worked with the foundation, and through fundraising and the generous donations of many, including HEIDENHAIN, Johnathon received Pickles in February.
"We at HEIDENHAIN are happy to be able to support this worthy cause and continue to try to better our community," said Rick Korte, HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION CEO.
HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION is the North American subsidiary of DR. JOHANNES HEIDENHAIN GmbH, a leading international manufacturer of precision measurement and control equipment. The product line includes linear scales, rotary and angular encoders, digital readouts, digital length gauges, CNC controls, and machine inspection equipment.
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