Today because of our Holiday Matching Fund, the value of any donation you give this year will DOUBLE automatically! Give by December 31st to make your gift go TWICE as far when it’s matched dollar-for-dollar!

Our supporters’ incredible dedication to people living with disabilities is beyond admirable. Through this support, we can help people like Lucas.Appeal1

Lucas Canniff has been through a lot in his five years of life. In fact, it is something of a miracle that Luke is still here. He is still adapting to the way things are for him.

When Luke was still a toddler he suffered from a very rare condition: a “spontaneous blood clot” on his spinal cord. When the clot broke loose, the damage was severe and far up his spine. The prognosis was that if Luke survived, he would be paralyzed from the chest down.

Lucas’ mom, Lisa, still finds it difficult to express how she felt when given Luke’s prognosis. “I know I felt despair and loss for him and all the things he would not be able to do. Walk on his own. Play sports. Always be dependent on someone else. I was also very angry with the doctors, with everyone.”

You can imagine the devastation, the anger, the despair Lisa and Tim felt to receive this kind of news about their child. Feelings no parent wants to experience...

But now the Canniffs have another option for Luke to regain his independence...



Because of you. And your gift — DOUBLED by December 31st. If you could give anything the Holiday Matching Fund will make it double. So please, give you what you can – it’s not often someone comes along to match your gift!



Appeal2Lucas survived the blood clot, but as predicted, he became paralyzed from the chest down.

Lucas spent his very first birthday in the hospital. He was put on a ventilator and a tracheotomy was performed. He had no core strength so, for a long time, he could not sit up on his own.

Today he goes to kindergarten in the morning and to physical therapy every afternoon to develop strength in his upper torso and in his arms. He is now able to move his wheelchair on his own. He loves school and is committed to his PT. He is a determined, courageous young man.

But without your help by December 31st, Lucas’ courage and determination won’t be enough to grant him the independence he truly wants and needs.

As a mother, Lisa struggles everyday with thoughts “...that his frustrations will keep him from reaching his potential. Although he has shown — so far — that he can adapt, and I hope he can continue to do that.”


With your help (times TWO), Lucas can do just that. He can continue to use his determination — and a Service Dog — to do things no one ever thought possible!


She continues, “I believe having a Service Dog will help Luke try to do things he otherwise wouldn’t try. I know having a Service Dog will help Luke reach his potential. He is such a spunky, curious boy, inquisitive, always asking a lot of questions.”

And now we have a question for you.

Will you help Luke become more independent? Will you grant him this life-changing gift?


 “...Appeal3there are still moments that break our hearts, when Luke wants to do something so badly, so natural for a five year old, and becomes frustrated when he can’t. We went on a family trip to the Museum of Natural History. When his brother and sister got up close to see an exhibit — Luke couldn’t. He got very upset. His dad was able to hold him up so he could see over people’s heads. Moments like that still hurt. And they can happen anytime, they happen everyday,” says mom, Lisa.

With your help, Lucas and his family won’t have to have moments like these daily. Your amazing generosity can make these days happen less and less for the Caniffs and families just like them.

Your gift today can ensure that there’s a dog ready for Luke and other children like him. I know you don’t want Luke or his family to have to live a “less-than” life.

And the Caniffs know it’s you making the difference. “ helping someone they don’t know, they are doing even more than they think. They are a big part of what is making Luke so excited by what is to come when he has his Service Dog,” Lisa said to me. “ making ECAD possible through their donations, they are helping my little boy to grow up with more independence than he or we could ever have anticipated. I am very grateful.”

Lisa, Tim, Lucas and their family can’t thank our supporters enough for making an opportunity for independence for them and so many others. They are providing a solution for those who have nowhere else to turn. They are impacting lives with their generous giving.

Navigate to our donate page and submit your donation today. You’ll give people living with disabilities — people like Lucas — a chance to live a full life with the independence a Service Dog brings. Your gift will be put to use immediately getting more Service Dogs into the hands of more people just like Lucas. I’m furever grateful for all you do. So are the Canniffs. And, the thousands of other people whose lives you touch with your goodness.