Friday, December 11, 2009

The children of Bishops Peak Elementary in San Luis Obispo, work really hard each year to recycle cans and bottles to raise money. Each year, they take the earnings from the recycled goods and donate it to a child in need. We were invited by Mrs. Bridget, Founder of Jack's Helping Hand and 5Th grade teacher as guest for a special ceremony. We were amazed when the school, and Jack's Helping Hand presented Cooper with a five thousand dollar check for all our traveleing expensise. When the dog completes his training, we have to spend two manidtory weeks in Colorado to train with the dog. With car rental, gas, and hotel this can be quite expensive, and we were not sure how we were doing to do it.
Today we were blessed again, and are so thankful for Bishop Peak Elementary and Jacks Helping Hand!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Update on Cooper's Dog

For the past month I’ve wanted to post an update about Cooper’s dog, but haven’t been able to because of school, being a mom,writing thank you cards, and responding to foundations that want to help. We have been invited to talk on The Dave Congalton show to raise awareness about food allergies, but not sure I will have the time to accept the invitation. I am limited to who can care for Cooper, and who I can trust when things like this arise. Having said this, those of you who care for Cooper when I am in need, I am very thankful for you, and you are very special to me.

About a month ago we raised a total of $5,000. Everyone who’s following Coopers Journey knows what a big deal this was for us. This was the big day, which we have all been waiting for… Cooper’s dog can now begin training! Many of you expressed your happiness and excitement for Cooper with our family and it was so special. I am thankful for all of you! As for me I cried, I shouted with joy, I thanked god for all the wonderful people who helped us get here, and I hugged my son with all my might.

We know many of you are anxiously waiting for an update on Cooper’s dog, and so are we! The process is not simple. Dogs are like humans, some are able to do things that others are not. There is very little that we know about Cooper’s dog, except that he will be an Australian Labradoddle. Angel Service Dogs has to follow certain regulation when training a dog to become a service dog. First is obedience. The dog has to act on command: Sit, down, stay, walk easily, no signs of aggression, recall, sit in public places and so on. Once he passes that and earns his certificate, he must be able to detect a peanut from a building, vehicle, or luggage in five minutes or less to become "peanut" certified. From there he needs to be able to “stack” which means, he needs to pick up the scent of cashews, get certified, pecans, get certified, walnuts get certified, and so on until he meets Coopers needs, and with the same regulations as a peanut. Some dogs will be able to do this, and some will not. This is why we won’t know which dog will be Coopers until we get “the phone call”. Trust me, it is hard. I want to post pictures, I want to tell you his name, and how he is progressing but I can’t. All I know, is we are hoping to get Cooper’s dog in about six months. This will allow Cooper and the dog to become familiar with each other before Cooper starts kindergarten. (Which by the way, these dogs have been detecting peanuts from “peanut free tables”. Just as an FYI to parents of peanut/nut allergic children.)

Our family is rooting for Ranger. He is a beautiful, brown Australian Labradoodle that is simply adorable. He’s about a year old, and is in training to become peanut certified. He aired on the today show and is working hard, to meet the needs of a child, we are just hoping that child is Cooper! I promise to keep you updated as often as I can, and again thank all of you for your support!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Step Closer

It is very exciting to report that we have just sent the deposit for Cooper’s Allergy Detection Dog to Angel Service Dogs today! Now the training process will begin.
Just to make that statement is the realization of a dream we thought to be so distant just a couple months ago. We cannot say how enormously thankful we are for the contributions that have gotten us to this point.
As we move forward from here we will be in a position to keep everyone informed as to the status of Cooper’s dog and where it is in the training process.
It is impossible to put to words the joy and excitement we feel to know that we are getting so close to obtaining a companion for Cooper that will protect him and bring peace of mind to our family.
We still have a distance to cover, however with this milestone reached the finish line seems more obtainable than ever!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What a Strong Boy

We have raised $5,000 in a very short amount of time. This Sunday will mark the eighth week that we have been fundraising.

When I read F I V E tthousand dollars, I get tears in my eyes... in fact I have them right now. This is not just any dollar amount, this is the beginning stage of a very exciting time in our lives. This is Coopers Dog...did I jut say that, I still can't believe it...Coopers Dog. This means Cooper can go to school, this means Cooper will be safer then he has ever been, this means Cooper may never experience an anaphylactic shock again, this means SO much... more than words can say!

Yesterday Cooper went to see his Allergist for some testing. We want to make sure he has no new food allergies. Cooper has had two very mild reactions in the past month, and want to be certain that he has not developed any new allergens. Once we have the results we can notify Angel Service Dogs, and the dog can be trained for Coopers exact needs.

Yesterday my son sat happily on my lap, sucking his sucker while having blood drawn from his arm. He was in complete awww and fascinated with what was going on... the gauze, the needle, blood, tubes, veins, and with what ever else was happening. I totally thought he was going to cry, but he was strong did not shed a tear.

Soon, We will know more details about Coopers Dog. It is a long process and I am hoping we will have some solid answers with in the next four weeks. We have a few more things to get in order before we can do so.

Thank you so much for every ones help, support and love!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Angels Service Dogs is now a non profit under the umbrella of South East Colorado Animal Rescue . Contact Sherry Mers owner of Angel Service Dogs at for the tax id number and more information.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lunch BBQ at Lutheran Church of our Savior

Big thanks to Upward Bound Preschool and Lutheran Church of our Savior for inviting our family to fundraise at their lunch BBQ!
It was an extremely fun event for all the children. 2 bounce houses, games, and lots to eat and snack on made the afternoon fun for all.
We held a silent auction and sold Christina’s homemade baked treats to raise money for Cooper’s dog. We had a great response, and are very grateful that we are moving closer to achieving our goal.
Thanks soo much to Pastor Steve Eckert, Molly Williams and everyone who helped and contributed!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cooper turned 4!

Coopers just had his 4th birthday and it was a lot of fun! He was anticipating his birthday party for over a month, mostly because mom and dad hand made a very special piñata that he helped build. The birthday party was small and fun. We invited all his cousins and close family. His Grammy baked a spectacular Lightning McQueen cake to match his piñata and the theme of his party.

Our whole family is very aware of coopers’ allergies; it is a challenge that they assist us with at all times, however, even when everyone has knowledge of the allergies a mistake can happen. Coopers Birthday cake was baked entirely of nut-free goods. The frosting was a special nut-free product as well. Even with all the preventive measures taken to bake his cake we had an oversight- the food coloring in the cake frosting was processed in a facility that handles’ nuts and would have been enough to put Cooper into anaphylactic shock. It was a reminder of how important an Allergen Detection Dog is. While people can make mistakes reading ingredients, the service dog’s sense of smell never turns off.

Fortunately, Christina read the fine print on the food coloring bottles and we realized the mistake. Cupcakes were substituted for Cooper and the rest of the kids had cake. Cooper has an awareness of his allergies and understood why he could not have his cake. At times like that we are always impressed by his ability to adjust.

Other than the small food coloring incident the party went smooth. The Kids destroyed the piñata and candy flew everywhere! The lunch was good and all the kids had a lot of fun! We always enjoy getting Cooper together with all his cousins.

For now we are preparing for September 8th at Cool Hand Luke’s and hope that everyone can make it!

See you there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KSBY Came To Our House Today

Today was a very exciting day, we were visited by Melissa Mecija and Jason (camera man) from KSBY News. They came into our home, and did an interview with Cooper about his food allergies. Cooper was very excited to talk about his dog, and his conditons. I think he was even more excited to play with Jason's Camera, and look at the microphones. Jason and Cooper played a long time with "Big Boy" Wallie while John and I were being interviewed.

It was a very special day for us, not only in hopes to reaching our goal, but to raise awareness on life threatening allergies, that 18% of children suffer from.

Another GREAT thing that happened today, was Cool Hand Luke's in Santa Maria called to inform us, that they have arranged a dedication night for Cooper's Benefit. This event will be held on September 8th from 5-8pm, and 10% of the customers bill will be donated to Coopers Fund.

We hope to see you on September 8th at Cool Hand Luke's, and we will keep you informed of all the upcoming events.

A big Thank You to Melissa, Jason and KSBY News for taking our story!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An Insight To The Life Of Cooper

Our son is four years old, and his name is Cooper Giron. He is severely allergic to any and all nuts and oranges and is very asthmatic. When and if Cooper eats, touches or is surrounded by anything that may contain these ingredients, including lotions, soils, bean bags, bird food etc. his body will go into anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic will kill, and could happen in 20 minutes or less, or cause permanent brain damage to our son, if not treated in time. He experienced anaphylactic shock in June 2008, and almost passed away. He was hospitalized at Sierra Vista Hospital in SLO, for three days. Each time a child experiences anaphylactic shock, it increases their chances of death if it were to happen again.

Coopers allergist, of the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, informed us that Cooper has the highest nut allergy he has ever seen in a child, and informed us that our sons life could be at risk if he goes to public school, due to the fact of all the food that is on a school campus, and oils left behind on tables, text books, pencils and so on from the foods that he is allergic to.

The only way our son would be able to go to school every day, and reduce his risk of death, would be with a Service Dog. The Service Dogs are specially trained to detect minute traces of tree nuts, peanuts and oranges and alert Cooper if he is in danger. You can check out these amazing Service Dogs at

The service dogs cost around $10,000. John and I are not able to afford this, and fear that if we do not raise the money, Cooper will not be able to experience going to school, like most other children. There is a lot that our son is not able to do, like go to a baseball game, trick-or-treat with out fear, or enjoy simple parties like birthdays or holidays if away from home, the last thing we want is for him not to have the experience of going to school.

If you would like to learn more about this allergy you can visit

Food Allergies

Each year Over 7 million Americans are diagnosed with food allergies, 3 million of which are children. Food allergies can be life threatening, and there is no cure. On average there are over 30,000 emergency room visits each year due to allergic reactions, over 200 deaths, and 94% of the food related deaths, are due to a reaction from a peanut or tree nut. (Almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, Brazilian nut etc.)

If a person comes into contact with his/her allergen by touch, ingestion or inhaulation their body can go into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic can kill. When a person is having an anaphylactic reaction, they may experience, a sever rash, hives, vomiting, swollen face, and most importantly their throat can swell up, cutting off all oxygen supply; That individual could suffocate during the reaction, and more than likely die.

While most parents teach their allergic children to always read ingredients, and to only eat food that was packed from home, it is still not enough to keep their child safe, the same goes for adults and teens. Many allergens can be hidden, manufactures can make mistakes on their labeling, and one of the biggiest problems is the unseen allergen. If some one was eating something that your allergic to (ie. peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and then touches a book, door Handel, keyboard ect, then you touch it, you can go into anaphylactic shock.

Researchers are still trying to figure out why the peanut allergy is on the rise, especially with young children. It is believed that novel proteins, chemicals, and allergens have been introduced to our food and vaccine supply within the last 10 years. It is believed that the chemicals are creating a toxin overload, impacting the immune system of the new generation of children.

There is some medical research being done to try to find a cure for individuals with life threatening food allergies(s). It is still years away, due to lack of funding and knowledge.

Angel Service Dogs is an organization which trains specialized allergen detection dogs, to keep children safe and out of harm, so that a child can live a NORMAL life.

If you would like to learn more about food allergies please visit

Another thing worth mentioning is, if your child has a life threatening food allergy(s) he/she falls under the American Disability Act (ADA). You can learn more about the California laws for nut allergies at under awareness and advocacy.

High Demand For Peanut Sniffing Dogs

High Demand For Peanut Sniffing Dogs

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