Local toddler in need of service dog


Three-year-old Avery Stokes was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes exactly one year ago and needs a service dog to keep her alive. 

Avery’s condition is tough to manage at her age. Being a toddler, Avery doesn’t know when her blood sugar levels are off. According to her mother, Katie Stokes, her levels fluctuate very quickly causing her to pass out from time to time. 

“Too high can lead to coma which can lead to death, and too low leads to her passing out and potentially death,” Stokes said. 

The Stokes family aren’t unfamiliar with the disease. Katie’s brother grew up with Type 1 as well. But Katie says his condition came at a later age. She believes a diabetes service dog will help Avery stay alive. Service dogs can detect when blood sugar levels are off and alerts owners of the problem. 

While researching service dogs, Katie connected with Dylan’s Dogs for Diabetes. The owner and founder Dylan Lancaster, turned out to be a familiar face. 

“We actually met at a the Wynn Drive Chick-fil-a for an event we had. This was at least six years ago when the Stokes just had their one son. We gave them a bracelet, because we do bracelets instead of business cards,” Lancaster said. 

Dylan’s Dogs for Diabetes is a non-profit organization that helps pair patients with service dogs. 

Once Katie and Dylan spoke, they found Avery a dog. Problem was the dog was more than $15,000. 

With the help of family and friends, Avery’s family has raised around $8,000 for her service dog. In fact, her puppy has already been born.

Unfortunately, Avery’s father is currently furloughed from the shutdown making the process tougher than it already is.

“Derek is furloughed right now, and just a while ago we had to make a $2700 deposit for the dog and it’s flight to training,” Katie said. 

The Stokes family consists of four children. Avery’s sister, who is two-and-a-half years old is unfortunately on the same path as Avery. Katie says her children have gone through testing to see if they match with the antibodies related to the disease, and her other daughter matched with 4 of the 5. 

“She isn’t diagnosed right now with it, but doctors suspect she will have it within the next year or so,” Katie said. 

Luckily, if her other daughter does get diagnosed, the two daughters can share the Diabetic Alert Dog. 

The family is currently accepting donations to help fund the dog. A link to donate can be found here.

Lancaster is only a high school student at Sparkman High School right now. He has big goals for his non-profit. He says this year he wants to get six dogs for his organization. 

DCubed is also looking for donations to help meet Lancaster’s goals. Right now they are offering advertising opportunities for businesses. They’re wanting to print business names and logos on the service dogs vests. 

“The dog goes everywhere the kid goes, and kids go everywhere. So if you have you’re company logo going all over the country on the most adorable little service dog with the most adorable little girl..that’s just good business,” Lancaster said. 

For more information on Dylan’s Dogs for Diabetes (DCubed), call 703-477-6710.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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