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Community raising money to help 4-year-old boy get service dog


By Stephanie Buffamonte

Washington County, WI (WDJT) -- A Washington County boy is in need of a service dog, but it will cost his family $17,000. Now, they’re turning to the community for help.

4-year-old Hudson Rhu has two rare genetic diseases. One is extremely rare called, GAND, which is a mutation of the GATAD2B gene.

“It’s heartbreaking as a mom to see that happen and knowing that your kid wants to play and wants to interact, but he just can't,” Hudson’s Mother Tammy Ruh said.

Hudson's conditions impact his muscles, speech, cognition and motor skills. He uses communication device on his tablet to communicate with his family. Hudson can only say a few words and loses his balance quickly.

“He gets frustrated easily, and that's where some of the tantrums come from,” Hudson's Father Donovan Ruh said.

The Rhu’s are hoping a service dog will help with his balance and his moods. They reached out to ‘4 Paws for Ability,’ an organization provides service dogs to people with disabilities. They train dogs for autism, seizures, mobility assistance, diabetes, and multipurpose dogs.

The Rhu’s started a fundraiser three weeks ago and it’s taken off, even though they were nervous to start it.

“What if no one cared?” Tammy Rhu said. “What if we get $5 or $10 dollars and that's it?”

But as of Friday night they have $12,149 of their $17,000 goal. The Rhu’s are overwhelmed.

“They post a comment saying 'hey Hudson we're behind you' so just knowing you have that support is amazing,” Donovan Rhu said.

Once all of the money needed is raised, Hudson's name will go on the waiting list to get the service dog.

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