Wisconsin Rapids native raising $15,000 for service dog

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WSAW) - Many of us may take our ability to work and go out to do things for granted. But that’s not the case for one Wisconsin Rapids native, who is trying to raise money for a service dog to help her become more independent.

Kayla Grimes has been chronically ill her entire life. She has over 15 illnesses that cause her to rely on many people to take care of her.

A day in the life for Kayla Grimes begins with waking up nauseous and unable to do simple daily tasks.

This includes things like laundry, cleaning, or even showering, it’s something she’s never been proud of. “I’ve always grown up hiding my illnesses because I’ve lost so many friends, I’ve lost boyfriends, I’ve even lost family members who just didn’t understand,” Grimes said.

Grimes is just 25-years-old, she was diagnosed at the young age of 14 with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

This condition impacts her nervous system and causes lightheadedness, fainting, rapid heartbeat and much more.

“I don’t go places by myself anymore, because if I pass out I’m lying on the ground in the middle of nowhere by myself and nobody knows what’s going on with me,” Grimes said.

Grimes grew up in the Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point area but moved to La Crosse in 2019 for the best medical treatment possible at Mayo Clinic.

Grimes has never been able to work and even has a hard time standing and is mostly wheelchair bound.

She also has hypovolemia, fibromyalgia and many other diagnoses. Now she’s raising $15,000 for a service dog to help her become independent.

“Just to be able to do things without having Nick with me or without having my mom with me like just being able to do things and live life and not be scared that something is going to happen to me,” she said.

The service dog will help grimes with proper blood flow, mobility, carry meds, and even protection. The dog will not only help Grimes, but also her fiancé, Nick.

“There’s been a lot of hours spent at work and a lot of hours that I sit and worry that something might happen when she’s just out going to the grocery store,” Nick Weigert said.

“He’s always taking care of me when I can’t get out of bed, he’s constantly getting up and getting me ice packs and things to drink and making me food,” Grimes said.

The cost of the dog is about $12,000, but she’s trying to raise $15,000. The extra money will cover vet bills, food, and other needs.

Grimes also raised money by making and selling “Plvoer” t-shirts, as a nod to the spelling mistake made on the Village of Plover water tower.

A link to donate to Kayla’s go fund me can be found here.

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