Four-year-old Finn has severe autism needs a service dog, but it costs about $25,000. So far, the family have raised $18,000. Photo courtesy of Holly Allen.

Four-year-old Finn has severe autism needs a service dog, but it costs about $25,000. So far, the family have raised $18,000. Photo courtesy of Holly Allen.

Mission family in need of service dog nears fundraising goal, asks for help in final push

Family’s four-year-old boy has severe autism; dog costs $25,000, raised $18,000 so far

A Mission family that has been fundraising for a service dog to help their four-year-old son with severe autism are nearing their $25,000 goal.

Holly Allen’s continuous fundraising efforts for her son Finn, have involved events such as bottle drives, cookie-selling, a square-board fundraiser, paint nights and a GoFundMe page. So far they’ve been able to raise over $18,000, but Allen said they need a little help getting over the finish line.

“We’re very close, but we’re a little far away still,” Allen said. “This service dog means so much to our family, it’ll mean so much to his quality of life, and will help him so much in general on a daily basis.”

The family applied for the dog last year, and found out last February they were in line to receive one of the golden labs currently in training, Allen said. The labs are all named after different characters from the Avengers.

She said they will need to have 80 per cent of the funds, and complete two training courses before being matched up with a dog.

During the process, they will meet with the various pups “in order for us to learn and understand their traits,” and see which one is the best match for Finn, Allen said.

Their most recent bottle drive on Nov. 7, saw four-van loads of recyclables dropped off, several cash donations and even received a visit from Mission’s MP Brad Vis, and councillor Ken Herar.

But Allen said the family needs help in the final push.

“I’ve exhausted so many options. I’m posting to social media, and I’m not a social media expert by any means,” Allen said. “We can’t wait, it’s been a long road, a long journey and we’re just so excited to get to the end of the finish line and bring our kid a forever friend.”

“Finn’s doing really well at preschool now. From a year ago, he’s made so many leaps and bounds, he’s improved so much and it’s just nice to see. He’s such a different boy from when he was first diagnosed. We have out good days and we have our bad days. But you know, I’m just so blessed with such an amazing little boy.”

Missionites wishing to help the family out can donate to the GoFundMe page, or visit the Facebook page Loving_Finn.

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