Almost every kid wants a dog but some kids need one.
Ian Unger is a Type-1 diabetic. He needs to constantly monitor his blood sugar and will for the rest of his life. He has to always have supervision and canâ€™t even ride the bus to school. In order to be as independent and social as possible, he wants a diabetic alert dog that will warn him when his sugars are off, but they can cost up to $25,000.
â€śIf he is rising or falling fast, the dog will alert him to that,â€ť says Katrina Christensen, Ianâ€™s mother, â€śHe can correct that before it becomes an issue.â€ť
The dogs are known to be able to give Ian a 45-60 minute heads up on a sugar crash or spike. Ian didnâ€™t qualify for coverage by insurance or any other program so he would have to come up with the full cost.
â€śWe didnâ€™t really want to ask people for money,â€ť says Christensen, â€śWe are just trying to raise it on our own. Weâ€™re trying to teach him that if he wants something, he works for it.â€ť
His parents told him it would probably take a few years but Ian started brainstorming.
â€śI was thinking about it when we were doing the garden and I was thinking about doing a lemonade stand,â€ť says Ian, â€śI did it one day and I got a lot of money.â€ť
Then came the pumpkins. His family had grown and sold a small garden of pumpkins for decades. After his grandfather died, Ian took over.
â€śI planted them,â€ť Ian says, â€śI didnâ€™t do very good with the weeds but I did plant them really good.â€ť
As they grew, he planned to sell them and add the money to his dog fund. He had 150 pumpkins from the garden and those sold out in a couple days.
â€śI expected to sell at least the garden but I didnâ€™t expect to sell this many,â€ť says Ian, â€śI kept getting donations and I couldnâ€™t believe how many pumpkins I got already.â€ť
People saw his stand, heard his story and donated pumpkins, they kept flying off his cart. His story was shared across the country and those who couldnâ€™t buy, donated online and this week they hit their goal and then some. Ian didnâ€™t even hesitate with what to do with the extra money.
â€śWe want to give money to other people that need it like ones that have Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes,â€ť says Ian, â€śwhen they need a dog or they need something we will just give them the money.â€ť
Pumpkins will change Ianâ€™s life. His work with change the lives of several more. Ian made it look so easy with the script to roadside pumpkin sales.
â€śNiceness and cuteness.â€ť