FORT COLLINS (AP) Andrew Dawson is a 10-year-old family man.
He loves playing with his year-old cocker spaniel, Gavon. Hes a genius with a spatula and loves creating new recipes. Hes a quiet joker who gives his family joy with the sly things he says in the most unexpected moments.
Most moments are unexpected.
Andrew, or Drew, has been suffering from hundreds of myoclonic seizures every day since he was 18 months old. He has severe sensory issues, apraxia and an auditory processing disorder.
In short, Andrew knows what he wants to say or do, but his body wont permit him to do it, explained his mother, Becky Dawson.
Andrews jokes are some of his greatest gifts in an ever-tiring cycle of care and concern.
Its usually just a subtle thing about food or something, but its absolutely hilarious, Dawson said. With a child who has problems with speech or communicating, those little things come out and it brings you joy.
Theres no sleeping at night when you have a child with seizures. We have to stop this cycle.
His seizure disorder remains undiagnosed, with alternative therapies and biomedical treatments uncovered by insurance the familys only option to provide some form of healing and relief. With the familys medical costs growing and pushing them further into debt, to stop the suffering the Dawsons joined Community Funded, a local fundraising site, as a Neighbor in Need four months ago.
Donors can choose from a variety of gift backs in return for a donation. On Andrews project, gift backs include the Everything-Free Cookbook, a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and sodium-free collection of recipes created by the little chef, a collection of locally donated artwork, finger-knitted creations by his little sister and a variety of other donated goods.
Neighbor in Need is designed for anyone who wants to raise money, said Community Funded co-founder McCabe Callahan. Ive known Scott, Beckys husband, for years. As I kept hearing about his financial struggles, I told him about the project.
The familys goal is to raise $20,000 to help bring the family out of medical debt and fund more treatments and therapies for Andrew.
We want Andrew to have the highest quality of life that he possibly can, Dawson said. We want to alleviate the suffering for him. Hes a bright, happy, funny little boy who loves to giggle.