Matthew Tokarski

Matthew, a resident of Bradford, RI, is an active brave, and spirited nine year old boy who has been diagnosed with Type 1, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Since age six, Matthew has battled with learning how to live with this disease. He manages his disease by diligently counting carbs and pricking his finger 10-12 times a day to monitor his blood glucose level. Matthew currently wears an insulin pump and a continuous blood glucose monitor as he navigates through his daily activities. Matthew’s parents have to diligently monitor his blood glucose level two times a night (11 PM and 2 AM). This is to ensure that his blood glucose does not drop to a critically dangerous level, potentially resulting in seizures and/or death. Since Matthew has become older and more active, it is difficult for him to recognize a low blood glucose level until it has plummeted dangerously low. Matthew’s family has been fundraising for the purchase of a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD). This service dog can detect changes in the blood glucose level 20-45 minutes before his meter can. A service dog like this will certainly help Matthew improve the daily management of his diabetes but also allow him to attend more activities with his friends and family rather than experiencing the frustration of having to miss out on the fun. The true and consistent companionship that he will receive from this dog will improve his emotional and physical health. The bond that they will build together will have a lasting effect on their friendship forever. The Fairway Foundation will be assisting Matthew’s family in the final phase of purchasing him a Diabetic Alert Dog.

Jack Melkonian

Jack, a resident from Cumberland, Rhode Island, is a zealous seven year old boy who has apraxia of speech. Childhood apraxia of speech is a persistent severe speech disorder that affects the ability to develop and produce intelligible speech. This disorder is a neurologically based difficulty with motor programming and planning. Because of his expressive language deficits, he is unable to communicate fluently at home and in school. In addition to his expressive language difficulties, Jack displays delayed receptive language skills. Due to these impairments, Jack will require specialized instruction and tools to communicate with his family, peers, and to access his school curriculum. In addition to receiving speech and language serves in school, Jack attends the University of Rhode Island Speech and Hearing Center twice a week for continued services. Jack and his parents are exhaustively committed to improving his speech and language skills. The Fairway Foundation will be purchasing jack an iPad, for home use, so he can utilize the appropriate apps which he is exposed to during his therapy sessions. Jack’s desire to use the iPad as an educational tool is encouraging. This device will have a positive impact on improving his overall communication.

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