XENIA — A Xenia boy is hoping for a life-changing Christmas gift.
Brycen Marshall, 7, has had two reconstructive heart surgeries, a heart transplant, and has fought various other medical conditions since birth.
The Marshalls are hoping a four-legged friend will help Brycen, who uses cochlear implants to help him hear on a daily basis.
“They help me hear, usually sometimes my mom and dad have to scream at me,” Brycen told WDTN.
A service dog from 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia could change that.
“We tested the smoke alarms. He doesn’t hear the smoke alarms,” said Nicole Marshall, Brycen’s mom.
After all Brycen has been through, he said he just wants a normal life.
“I want to do it all by myself,” Brycen said.
The ear implants help. But Nicole Marshall said it can be hard for her son to determine where sounds are coming from. If someone calls his name, a service dog could lead him in the right direction.
It costs 4 Paws a minimum of $40,000 to raise and train dogs. The family needs to pay a fee for service or fund-raise $17,000, according to 4 Paws.
“The dog will hopefully be his best friend,” said 4 Paws spokesperson Kelly Camm. “And go everywhere with him. Help him when he does not have his implants in. During bath time, pool time or at night.”
To make a donation via credit card, go to www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now/ and put Brycen Marshall in the special instructions field.
For more information, email Camm at firstname.lastname@example.org
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz. Our partners at WDTN contributed to this story.