Valley family trying to raise money to buy service dog for daughter Savannah Lopeman

Mesa fitness event to give proceeds to family

GILBERT, AZ - Sitting in their pink and blue room, Savannah and her twin sister, Shayde, seem to not have a care in the world. But, that's not the case.

"My pancreas broke down and wasn't working how it was supposed to. So, that's how I got diabetes," 10-year-old Savannah Lopeman explains.

In the eight years since her diagnosis, Savannah's endured thousands of finger pricks and insulin injections. 

It is not a good day for Savannah. Her blood sugar reading is 463. Usually it's around 150. But you'd never know her struggles by the smile on Savannah's sweet face. Sadly, the diabetes is just the beginning...

"They diagnosed her with Intestinal Lymphangiesctasia. I think that's what makes her diabetes so much more difficult is that she's fed through the night by a feeding tube," explains Savannah's mom, Nicole Lopeman.

So, every night, Savannah's mom has to wake up every three hours to make sure her daughter's still alive.

"I get really tired. But, I'm afraid to fall asleep sometimes because I'm afraid I'm so tired that I won't wake up," Nicole cries.

"I can go really low and if my parents forget to check my blood, I would probably not wake up again. That's scary," Savannah says.

That fear, in a 10-year-old, is why the family's trying to raise money for a $7,000 service dog, who's trained to alert an adult when Savannah's levels are too high or low.

"It's comforting to know that there's a constant companion for her," says Nicole.

This Saturday, there's a fitness competition at The Cell, in Mesa. All money raised will help pay for Savannah's service dog.  

For more information about the event, or to simply donate online, you can go to the IACS website .

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