Ellsworth family seeks help for girl with a “hidden disability”



Photo by Steve Fuller

Danyelle Wallace (right) and her brother Blake are both 11-year-old Ellsworth residents who enjoy taking karate lessons. Both also suffer from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and their adoptive family is working to raise money for a service dog for Danyelle to help address her FASD symptoms.

ELLSWORTH — A local mother hopes to get a trained service dog for her 11-year-old daughter, who has fetal alcohol syndrome.

Deanna Wallace Douglas calls her adoptive daughter Danyelle Wallace’s condition a “hidden disability,” one the girl has had since she was born.

“[Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders] refer to the whole range of effects that can happen to a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy,” according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For Danyelle, symptoms include severe separation anxiety, emotional meltdowns that can last for hours, difficulty relating to other children and a tendency to wander off.

Douglas applied for a trained service dog from 4 Paws for her daughter last year and received approval in November.

It costs the organization $22,000 to train a service dog, according to Douglas, and the family is asked to raise $13,000 to help pay those bills.

The family began raising money in January, and recently received word that a man who heads another group in Ohio will give the family a grant of $6,500 when they raise the other half of the $13,000.

Douglas’s friend, Hortense Sarosi, will be hosting a fund-raiser at Denny’s in Ellsworth from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, to help the family reach its $13,000 goal.

Other donations also will be accepted. For more information, call Douglas at 460-6075 or e-mail her at [email protected]

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller has worked at The Ellsworth American since 2012. He covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast’s Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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