Staff Report

The Kentucky Service Dog Association and the family of a local teen with epilepsy are looking to raise money to provide her with a service dog.

Grayson County teen Tiara Cook suffers from severe epilepsy, and her uncontrolled seizures have led to the need for a seizure assistance service animal; however, the out-of-pocket cost of the project to train and provide her with a service dog named Carmen will be in excess of $5,000.

This has resulted in a hardship for the family, whose insurance will not provide financial assistance with the cost. Therefore, the only way they can have Carmen for their daughter is if fundraisers are conducted while she is being trained as a service dog.

Cook's mother, Sheila Bruckshen, said that on Christmas day of 2018, Cook suffered from 85 seizures and was hospitalized.

The goal is that, once trained, Carmen, a 2-year-old Belgian Shepherd, will assist Cook by calming her during epileptic episodes, warning her parent on duty of an episode, retrieving necessary items to assist during crises, dimming lights, bracing her for mild physical stability, and guiding her to safe places to recover, among other things.

Those wishing to assist with this effort may call Carmen's trainer, Tammy Nugent, at 270-287-1809 or visit the fundraiser's Facebook page at