MEET MEGAN & CHIVE
Meet 14-year-old Megan from Minnesota.
Over the years, Megan has met with over 20 different doctors, as she has struggled with chronic joint pain, low blood pressure, and gastric issues. No doctor was able to give her an accurate diagnosis and some even suggested her pain was “in her head” and would not look further into other possible causes.
Finally, this year, through genetic testing, Megan was diagnosed with Elhers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). EDS is a rare genetic syndrome that has no cure. She also has periodic paralysis on the left side of her body which doctors say are hemiplegic migraines that could be a result of EDS.
This November, an additional diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) was made. Megan has chosen to deal with her pain through physical therapy and is looking into massage and acupuncture and has refused to use the suggested narcotic pain pills.
In addition, for several years as a young child, Megan suffered chronic trauma. As a result, Megan struggles with debilitating fear, extreme anxiety, and PTSD. Her PTSD has stripped her of many of her childhood years and makes it impossible to leave her house some days. “There really is no way I can show people what a PTSD night terror or flashback is like,” says Megan. “I don’t know how to describe the fear I sometimes feel, fear that can keep me in the same frozen position for hours.”
On top of this, a year ago Megan was knocked off her horse, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury. She participates in weekly vision therapy sessions with the goal of improving how her eyes and brain communicate.
Megan spends her days taking her school classes online, listening to audio books, and being with horses. She finds writing is a good outlet for her and she works very hard at her physical and vision therapy as well as therapy specifically addressing her PTSD. She struggles with her long-term diagnosis, especially since she is only 14 years old, but she has become a more determined young girl than ever after meeting Chive.
In September, Megan met Chive, the Roverchase Service Dog, for the first time.
Chive is an almost two-year-old golden retriever whose dad is already a service dog. One of Chive’s favorite tasks to perform and one of Megan’s greatest needs is deep pressure therapy. He is also learning mobility support and anxiety alerting.
Chive will be able to clear a room and house for intruders, and continue to do it until Megan feel safe. He will also provide non-defensive boundary control and can turn on/off lights when Megan has night terrors and provide deep pressure therapy to help keep her calm. Chive is being trained to do the very things Megan needs the most to have confidence to take on each day.
Megan has renewed hope in chasing her dreams. She plans to continue her straight A grades, she wants to continuing volunteering in her community and she eventually plans on going to veterinary school to become an equine vet. “I had given up on many of my hopes and dreams under the grip of chronic pain and PTSD and when I found out about Chive and then met him, somehow my hopes and dreams seem possible again,” says Megan. “I have renewed hope that I can finish school and go on to college, that I can pursue being a veterinarian and that I can move about my house and city while feeling safe and stable.”
Chive will graduate from Service Dog School and become Megan’s fulltime service dog at the end of December. In order to bring Chive home, Megan needs to raise $15,000.