ROCHESTER, Minn. - They say a dog is a man's best friend. But for the Ortmeier family, it could also be a life-changing addition for their 10-year-old son, Cody.
Cody is non-verbal and was born with chromosome disorders.
His parents and full-time caregivers, Nick and Sarah Ortmeier, are raising money to get him a service dog.
The service dog would help Cody in a number of ways including detecting seizures, helping him communicate, and even helping with his balance. Nick explains how the dog would give Cody some independence as well as encourage social interactions with others.
"I want him to have, you know, live a normal life as much as possible," Nick said.
The family is getting a service dog through the non-profit organization 4 Paws for Ability. The expenses of getting and training a service dog add up to about $40,000-$60,000. 4 Paws for Ability pays for most of it but the Ortmeier is still responsible for paying for $17,000 of it.
On Sunday, the family held a bake sale at Christ Our Rock Lutheran Church in Rochester to help fund for the cause. The family said they are on track to meet their goal thanks to a generous community.
"We're just so grateful that everybody's come out to support us and all the friends, family, community," Sarah said.
"This has been overwhelming for me," Nick said. "I had no idea how much support there was in the community and through our church."
People can learn more about Cody's story and donate to help him get a service dog, here.