Community rallies around student needing service dog

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MARION, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – 15-year-old Lauren Krsek is your typical teenager. She’s a freshman at Linn-Mar High School, and she enjoys spending time with her friends, and participating on diving teams and in clubs. Lauren also has ADD, dyslexia, and anxiety. She also has panic attacks.

15-year-old Lauren Krsek is a freshman at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, trying to raise money for a service dog to help with her ADD, dyslexia, and panic attacks. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (Brea Love/KCRG-TV9)

“Sometimes I can’t do my work mostly because I get so frustrated with it,” Lauren said.

That’s a hard thing for her parents to see her go through.

“When she gets home, it’s kind of a meltdown. She just really kind of struggles,” Lauren’s mom Tricia Krsek said. “Right now what I’m seeing, and her dad is seeing, is it’s almost like the anxiety is paralyzing her.”

Lauren has tried therapy and medicine, but after Krsek went to a Grant Wood A.E.A conference a new idea arose.

“The lady that was presenting, she introduced herself and her therapy do. While she was introducing herself, she said her therapy dog was there to help with anxiety and ADD,” Krsek said.

As the presenter went on she realized how a service dog would benefit Lauren’s situation. That’s when they sat down as a family and brainstormed how to make it happen.

“The dogs can detect breathing, and heart rate. They can do different things, they can help with pressure points, and keeping communication,” Krsek said. “Even just getting her up and out of situation. A dog can also detect by her body. She may not even realize she’s going through that panic attack. A dog can really understand.”

“I liked the idea, I got really excited,” Lauren said. “You get to take it everywhere with you. It would help me very much. I would have less breakdowns from anxiety for diving and school.”

Service dogs cost more than $3,000. That’s when Lauren decided to share her story on a GoFundMe page. Since then support has rolled in. People have already donated more than $1,000 to her fund. The Krseks said they’re extremely grateful.

“I can’t explain how grateful we are. It brings tears of joy,” Krsek said. “If we can help other people, along with Lauren and to give that awareness, I think that’s great.”

Lauren has completed the paperwork, gotten her referrals, and submitted her application. Now she will be on a wait list for 18 to 24 months. She will then head to the CARES foundation in Kansas to meet and train with her dog before she takes her companion back home.