Jason Wallace Culbreth, AKA "Waldo" diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15, lived a full life and unhindered by his condition. He was unwilling to let his circumstances hold him back from anything life had to offer. He loved the outdoors. Hunting and fishing were a big part of his life and he did so every time he had the opportunity. He always greeted you with a warm hug or a sincere handshake. Waldo was known as the guy that would do anything for a friend in need. Even with many changes in medication and doses, at the age of 28 his seizures remained unpredictable and he had some that were severe enough that he was hospitalized. And on Nov. 2, 2007, he had one severe enough that he did not survive.
Seizure assist dogs are trained to aid their companion in many different ways depending on the needs of the individual. Many seizure assist dogs are able to get help by using a pre-programmed phone or using an alarm system if one is available to summon medical help. Most are trained to roll the person on their side during a seizure to enable them to better breathe. Many dogs have been trained to turn off the water or empty a bath tub if a seizure occurs while someone is bathing. Having an assistance dog certainly improves the quality of life for many individuals and gives them more freedom as well as self-confidence.
Kathy Clarida is a dear friend of the Culbreth family and also a tri-athlete. She has participated in several races to raise money for worthy causes. She ran in three half marathon's (all) to raise money for the Victory Junction Camp Gang in Randleman, NC. Kathy says, “This was the first run I ever participated in. I had only been running for three months when I participated in the first annual Victory Junction Run - it was amazing and for a great cause.” She ran in the 5k with her granddaughters to raise money for Susan B. Komen Cancer Society. She ran in the Gobbler this past Thanksgiving morning to help raise food and money for animal rescue. Inspired by Jason's story, and with the help of the family, Kathy is participating in several races this year to raise money to train a service dog for someone with epilepsy. The following is a letter from Kathy:
“My name is Kathy Clarida. I’m a dear friend of the Culbreth family. Inspired by Jason’s story and my eagerness to help in any way that I could to help raise money to train a service dog for someone with epilepsy, I knew right away that as an tri-athlete my mission was to participate in the “granddaddy” of all races the “Ironman”, so I am.
2009 will be dedicated to help raising money for this wonderful cause; I participated in a 32-mile bike race in Myrtle Beach, SC on February 15 this year. I will be participating in a ½ Ironman @ White Lake, NC on May 2nd and an Ironman in Panama City, FL on November 7th.
I can’t think of a better way to honor my friend and I know that he will be with me the entire way; when I swim – he swims; when I pedal – he pedals and when I run – he will run and together we will make it across that finish line.
If we can make a difference in one person’s life, then we have succeeded. This dog will be that difference and we are blessed to be a part of it.”
Many of you know Jason's yellow lab puppy, "Bo Duke" was with him when he passed away. Jason was devoted to his dog and took him along everywhere he could. It is our hope that you will make a contribution to this worthy cause in Jason's ("Waldo's") memory. He was a great friend to many, devoted uncle, beloved brother and son to us. We continue to be amazed by all of the people he touched in his short life. We miss him and love him without end. We need your help to reach all who knew and loved him. Please forward this letter to friends you shared and anyone else who might like to give. We are offering this opportunity to everyone so all who loved him can be a part of this tribute to his life. We feel this is the best way to keep his giving spirit alive...by offering a devoted friend and companion to someone in need…a companion who will always look out for them and help keep them safe and out of trouble …just like “Waldo”.
Please send your contribution today to :
Waldo's Service Dogs
c/o Donna Culbreth
8120 Old Reidsville Rd.
Reidsville, NC 27320