Trumbell, CT – A community effort is underway to get Andrew Colello a much-needed service dog.

This young boy is much like any other 5-year-old. He loves wrestling, superheroes and anything his older brother Trey is into.

His mother, Jennifer Colello, says, “Andrew is the kind of child who just could move past any obstacle that’s thrown at him.”

He was born with spina bifida, so he has already had to handle more than his fare share of  obstacles.

Using a walker to get around is not his only challenge. Andrew also has epilepsy with seizures which occur almost every night.

“Andrew wants to be independent, and we want that for him,” Jennifer Colello says.

When trying to advocate for their son and his independence, Jennifer and Richard Colello thought about the physical and emotional benefits of a service dog. Studies show that for individuals with disabilities that cause fatigue, pain, trouble walking, or limited mobility, service dogs can help.  They also felt the service dog could help detect Andrew’s  seizures.

“It’s always kind of been a pipe dream because we knew they were quite expensive,” says Andrew’s father, Richard Colello.

That’s where Paige Marinelli comes into the picture. Paige runs an epilepsy support group, where she recently met Andrew’s mom.

“I’m 26 years old and I’ve had epilepsy from the age of 10,” she says. “I personally know what it’s like to have a game-changer in your life.”

Marinelli decided to honor Andrew and raise money for a service dog by climbing Mount Washington this summer.

The campaign has already exceeded it’s goal of $18,500!

“I could cry just thinking about it. The kindness of others has just been staggering,” says Jennifer Colello.
We’re hoping for a bright future for Andrew and his family.