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Weslaco Diabetic Student Obtains Service Dog

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WESLACO – A Weslaco 7th grader living with diabetes received some life-changing assistance.

Ryan Martinez is a student at Beatriz Garza Middle School. He was diagnosed with Type One diabetes last year.

Type One diabetes is when the body doesn’t make enough insulin. It develops in childhood.

Because of Martinez’s illness, he and his family’s lives changed. His father would often stay up at night to check his blood sugar levels.

After watching CHANNEL 5 NEWS’ Heart of the Valley special, Martinez and his parents learned about diabetes service dogs and their benefits.

Martinez said he and his family were able to raise the needed $15,000 to purchase one.

Once the purchase was made, Martinez said his work to help train a dog thousands of miles away began.

“Every time I was low or high, I had to take saliva samples. Basically I would get a cotton swab and put it in my mouth and I would have to let it soak with saliva. And I would have to drop it into a jar and I’d ship the jar over to wherever they were training her,” he said.

Martinez received one-year-old Bella two weeks ago.

She goes to school with the 7th grader during the week. Martinez has managed to avoid some scary situations thanks to Bella.

The work to train her is ongoing. 

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