Ian Unger’s mother, Katrina Christensen, describes him as a social child. 

The 6-year-old, just like many other kindergartners, likes to ride the bus to school.

However, according to Cox Media Group, Christensen said that due to Ian being a diabetic, he is not allowed on the bus without a trained aide by his side in case of an emergency. 

Christensen said the school came up with a plan to put him Ian on an empty bus by himself and take him to school after school starts.

However, she said that wouldn’t work because Ian is social.

In response, the family started selling pumpkins to raise funds for a service dog to accompany Ian on the bus. 

In a statement on their Facebook page, Ian’s Diabetic Alert Dog, the family explained the situation further:

Ian is a Kindergartener at MacNaughton Elementary in Howard City. He wants to ride the school bus like his friends. Unfortunately the district refused his request due to no one being trained on the bus in case of emergencies.

The family also shared the background on Ian’s diagnosis:

Ian is an amazingly strong, sweet, loving little boy who just turned 6. One week before his 4th birthday we rushed to the hospital because he was barely able to stand, slurring his words, and hardly able to keep his eyes open. We got to the children’s hospital, they checked his blood sugar and he was admitted immediately into the ICU. He was in DKA with a blood sugar of about 850. (80-100 is normal) and just like that, our entire world changed.

Not only has the family been selling pumpkins, but it has also been accepting donations toward the cause:

It’s been a crazy, hard, painful, expensive, interesting journey. Ian has been on shots and now has an insulin pump and a Dexcom CGM which reads his bg 24hrs a day…We have to raise $25,000 to get an alert dog.

As of now, the family’s Facebook page has raised $24,447 toward its $25,000 goal.

“We are so blown away by the outpouring of love and support from the community already!” the family said.

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