Nederland school denies epileptic boy's service dog

13 year-old Christian Borel suffers from a rare brain disease that causes seizures. For months his mother Christina has been raising money to get him a service dog that can detect seizures up to an hour before they happen... an animal that can cost as much as $25,000.

Last Thursday the family finally welcomed its newest member: a yellow lab named Sandy.

"A woman that I met on Facebook said 'We've got a service dog available, can you come talk to me about it?' I cried immediately, oh I think I cried for the rest of the night I was so excited," Christina told 12 News HD in an exclusive interview.

Now Christian and Sandy are inseparable.
"He walks outside and she whines at the door. She does not want to be separated from him at all," Christina said.

But Scott Clemmons, the principal of Christian's school, C. O. Wilson Middle School in Nederland, says Christian can't bring Sandy to school until he becomes a certified service dog handler. To do that, Christina says it'll cost her about $5,000. And that's not the only thing that frustrates her.

"Thursday morning is when they voiced their concerns, they had 6 months... I've been telling them for 6 months that we're getting this dog," she said.

As of Friday Christian hadn't been to school for a week, and Christina doesn't know what to do. She says the first 3 weeks is a critical bonding period for a service dog and its handler.

"She has to be in tune with his body, so they have to be together, if he's at school for 8 hours without her, she's not gonna be able to do her job."

A job that could mean saving a young boy's life.

Christina will be holding a fundraiser at the Chick-fil-A on Highway 365 in Nederland on February 6th from 5-8pm. She hopes to raise enough money to get Christian certified. 

For more information, you can visit Borel's Facebook group called "Caring for Christian".



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