Family fundraises for much needed service dog

Callie Frese is a 5-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. She needs your help to get a service dog.

Callie Frese was born with cerebral palsy in 2008. While she suffers from seizures don't let her disability fool you. She does everything any other 5-year-old girl would do.

"Callie likes to color and play dolls and Minnie Mouse," Crissy Frese said. "Minnie Mouse is a favorite."

The only thing she's missing is a friend.

"Callie is a very social very smart little girl but it's hard for her to communicate with others," Crissy Frese said. "Sometimes other kids will turn their back on her or don't know how to respond to her."

"Callie is a great girl," Andy Frese said. "She knows exactly what everybody says to her she just has a problem verbally explaining back to you."

Callie's parents Crissy and Andy Frese have found a way to make that easier.

"I was just looking online for programs and I found one in southern Illinois," Crissy Frese said. "We sent the application in and now we are just kind of waiting to raise the funds and for our dog to be trained at the same time."

After a lot of paperwork and interviews Callie was approved for a dog from Sit Service Dogs. It's an organization out of Ava, Illinois that trains and places service dogs with people with disabilities.

"I hope this dog will ease my mind a little bit with the seizures," Crissy Frese said. "Secondly it will give her some way to bridge the gap between other kids and herself."

"I hope it helps her quite a bit for independence actually," Andy Frese said. "Usually when she's having her feed she's in her chair and she'll drop things and the dog will be there to pick it up."

"She won't have to look to us as much and I think that will feel good for her," Crissy Frese noted.

The money to train the dog is going to cost around $11,000.

"It's nerve wrecking, it's exciting but a lot of anxiety whether or not we're going to get it in time," Crissy Frese said.

The family has until July to raise the money.

The Frese's say the sooner the dog arrives, the sooner people can get to know Callie.

"She's a cool kid," Crissy Frese said.

A benefit to help raise money for Callie's service is this Saturday.

The event will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Quincy.