Casper family raising money for a service dog

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Nine year old James Rasmussen is full of life and an unforgettable happiness. The Casper resident was diagnosed with partial agenesis of the Corpus Callosum at just a year old.

“At this time, we didn’t know what that was. In fact, the doctor at the time didn’t give us much to go on, just ‘here’s the diagnosis, good luck.’ And so we have always just kind of played this game of early interventions,” said Jessica Rasmussen, the mother of James.

James is considered non-verbal and sometimes struggles to communicate effectively. His parents are working with him on learning how to use a translator on an iPad. James also started walking a lot later than most of his peers. His parents would take him to the mall where there was plenty of open space for him to learn. The family made many new friends while doing this who were supportive of James.

James still struggles with physical activities and controlling his emotions sometimes. He enjoys playing soccer in the TOPS league in Casper. James also attends therapy and uses other resources, but his family felt there was a piece missing.

That’s where the service dog comes in.

The Rasmussen family is working with 4 Paws for Ability to get James a canine friend. The family hopes a service dog will allow James to have a comforting companion who allows him to safely navigate his community. They believe the dog will help James become more independent.

“James is a very happy guy. He has his moments, of course, but he’s a very happy and loving guy. Having a service dog will definitely make his life better,” said Jessica Rasmussen.

4 Paws for Ability requires families to raise 17,000 dollars before starting the process. The Rasmussen family has started an online Facebook fundraiser through 4 Paws to help raise money for the service dog. So far, they have raised over 6,500 dollars. The family is hopeful and so thankful for the community’s support during this time.

Jessica hopes this inspires people in the community to always remember that it is okay to ask for help and feels humbled and loved by this community.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

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