Children's book author helping diabetic child in quest for life-saving dog

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 19 at 7:02 PM

Melanie Hebert / Eyewitness News
Email: mhebert@wwltv.com | Twitter: @melaniehebert

NEW ORLEANS - You might have seen Herbie Thorpe's children's books in public libraries and schools. They chronicle the adventures of Herbie Bear.

"The Herbster Readers are a series of books for elementary kids to help them progress in their reading," explained Thorpe.

But the books are doing more than that, they're benefitting a local diabetic child. For people who want to help, 100 percent of book sales are going to 9-year-old Megan White.

"It's scary when I'm sleeping because I could go into a coma," said Megan of her disease.

Megan is fund raising for a Warren Retriever, a $20,000 diabetic alert dog. Herbie's daughter is a schoolmate of Megan's at Kehoe France, so he wanted to help ease the stress on Megan's family.

"The other night she went to sleep and at 2:00 in the morning she was 34, and if it weren't for me waking up to test her she wouldn't have been alive to wake up in the morning," said Megan's mother Shannon White. Shannon noted Megan's levels are supposed to be between 80 and 150.

Shannon says the dog will be much more reliable detecting Megan's blood sugar than anything else. Warren Retriever owner Dan Warren said the dogs are 98 percent accurate, detecting blood sugar fluctuation 20 to 45 minutes before it registers on a meter. By detecting levels that are just a little high or low, the dog can help improve average blood sugar scores or A1C.

A month ago WWL-TV told you about the first Louisiana family to fundraiser for a Warren Retriever for 8-year-old Jeremiah Gerlach. His mother Jacque Gerlach served as Shannon's inspiration. "Seeing that she raised that money in three months for the dog made it realistic that we could actually make our goal in that time frame," said Shannon.

In fact Jacque exceeded her fund raising goal for Jeremiah's dog and used the extra profits to help Megan. "You have to have $1,000 to be active on the waiting list, and Jacque donated $1,000 to make Megan active," Shannon explained.

Tuesday the community joined in that generosity. Michael Delahoussaye has a special needs child himself and donated $500 from his foundation Cards for Kids. "We try to raise money for other children and get things for them like wheelchairs, dogs, feeding equipment, computers, iPads," Delahoussaye said. "We just try to pay forward the things that people have done for us."

The Whites are encouraged by the donations so far and thankful for Herbie Bear.

"I think that's incredible," Shannon said. "We had no idea that was going to happen."

Herbie is selling his books for $10 for people who want to help, and every dollar goes to Megan.

Learn more about Warren Retrievers

Buy Herbie's books by emailing him at herbiethorpe@gmail.com

Make a donation for Megan White through Guardian Angel Service Dogs . After you submit your donation online, you will receive an email asking what family your donation will benefit. Reply to Megan White.

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