A Dog for Carter would be More than a Best Friend

June 19, 2015

by Laurie Jasper

Carter Lambert is an active, engaging ten-year-old boy.  Already standing at 5 feet 2 inches tall, Carter is called a “gentle giant” by his family.  Carter has a mom named Jamie, a dad named Eric and a six-year-old brother named Kael.  He has bright eyes, an endearing smile and a real zest for life.  He also has type 1 diabetes.

Carter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes less than one year ago, in August 2014.  He was at his grandparents’ pool and cut himself.  His mother, Jamie, decided to check his blood sugar with his grandmother’s glucose meter.  His grandmother is also a type 1 diabetic.  “I think it was a mother’s instinct,” Jamie said.  “I grew up knowing about diabetes.  He had some symptoms, and I just decided to check.  We checked three times.  It was over 600.”

That was when their lives changed forever.  What would follow were numerous doctor appointments, a lengthy hospital stay and many anxious moments.  Since Carter’s pancreas stopped producing insulin, his blood sugar levels can fluctuate dramatically and must be monitored very carefully.

For a very active child like Carter, it was quite a change.  Carter must check his levels before and after sports, gym, or recess, before and after meals, and throughout the day.

“We’re very proud of Carter.  Within a month of his diagnosis, he learned significantly and was checking his own numbers and giving himself his own shots,” said Eric.

Carter explained matter-of-factly the elaborate equation he does to figure out how many carbohydrates he can eat or how much insulin he may need based on his blood glucose levels.  “He’s extremely smart with his numbers, and he does it all in his head,” said Jamie.

“You have to use math; I’m always thinking about something,” stated Carter.

Carter’s father, Eric Lambert, is a 14-year member of the Hudson Fire Department.  “I’ve been on calls for diabetic emergencies, but this has been quite a learning experience.  The most difficult time is at night.  The first month I was so paranoid, I was up every hour checking on him,” recalled Eric.  Then Eric found out about Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, which provides service dogs specially trained to alert diabetics of low or high blood sugar levels.  “They scent the sugars on the acids of low and the ketones of high,” said Eric.

Captain David Morin of the Hudson Fire Department said, “When Carter was first diagnosed, Eric talked to all of us at the firehouse.  We understood the severity of this, and we wanted to help in some way.”

The Hudson Firefighters Relief Association decided to host a fundraiser to help Carter’s family with the expense of a Diabetic Alert Dog.  A diabetic service dog costs $18,000.  At least $2,500 needs to be raised right away for a down payment so that the process of matching Carter with the right four-legged companion may begin.

The fundraiser will be held on Friday, June 26, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the White Birch Banquet Hall, 222 Central St., Hudson.  There will be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and entertainment throughout the evening.  Hudson Firefighter Mike Armand, who often sings the national anthem at Hudson events, will be performing an acoustic set.  In addition, local cover band Max Voltage, a regular on the southern New Hampshire club circuit for the past four years, will be playing sets of popular rock and roll music from the 1970s to the present.  Hudson Firefighter Dave Brideau is bassist/vocalist for the band.

In the fall, Carter will enter the fifth grade at Three Rivers School in Pembroke, where he lives, and will be a member of the travel soccer team, which he is very excited about.  For the summer, he plans to, “… ride my bike, play basketball and swim,” Carter said.  He also plays the snare drum, and hopes to be a firefighter when he grows up.

If you would like to make a donation but aren’t able to attend the event, a GoFundMe account has been set up:  http://www.gofundme.com/os7osc.