A family in Altoona is raising awareness for type 1 diabetes.
Bella Getty brought her faithful, furry friend, Newton, to show and tell at the Hollidaysburg Library Tuesday evening.
She shared her story and what he does for her as a diabetic.
“I think it’s just kind of good to show diabetes out there,” Bella said. “It’s not just cancer out there. Everybody knows cancer is there, but they don’t know diabetes yet.”
Bella and her mom Courtney demonstrated how Newton can sense when her blood sugar is low. It’s not something Bella can feel.
All Newton has to do is follow his nose.
“When her blood sugar is below 80 she puts her spit on cotton balls and he learns that scent,” explained Bella’s mom Courtney. “He will not listen to her when he’s at an unsafe number. That’s his persistence of alerting her and telling her that she needs sugar.”
Bella got Newton last year but she was a little nervous when she brought him home.
“I wasn’t used to him pawing at me, I wasn’t used to a dog alerting at me all the time so it took some adjusting,” explained Bella. “So I was kind of afraid. There was this big dog touching you with his paw.”
Guests at the library asked questions about Newton and the first one was can we pet him?
“He’s a service animal. He’s providing a service to Bella. If she was in a wheelchair nobody would pet a wheel chair,” Courtney said. “If she was blind and had a cane, no one’s petting the cane. He’s a tool for her.”
The Getty’s were able to raise the $25,000 needed to bring Newton home. Newton came from the National Institute of Diabetic Alert Dogs.
“It was very expensive but how do you put a price tag on what helps your child,” Courtney said. “It wasn’t soccer camp or piano practice it was something that helped save her life.”