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Team Lydia raises funds to train service dog
March 04, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy photo Lydia Kincer, 2, suffers seizures from epilepsy. Her parents, a couple serving in the military plan a fundraiser in Gering to pay for the cost of training a service dog.

In addition to being members of the family, dogs can play many roles. They can be consistent companions, watchdogs and hunting buddies.

For a couple from Mitchell serving in the military and stationed in Virginia, a service dog would help their 2-year-old daughter cope with a chronic neurological condition. Calling themselves Team Lydia, the family aims to raise the money necessary for training the dog.

Two-year-old Lydia Kincer, whose parents Morgan and Michael are stationed in Virginia Beach − Morgan is in the Army, and Micheal is in Navy − suffers from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. The condition causes recurrent, unprovoked seizures emanating from the temporal lobe of the brain. Seizures can last from six to 52 minutes.

Lydia has suffered numerous setbacks due to the length of the seizures, which affects her ability to speak and eat.
Consequently, she suffers from severe developmental delays.

That’s where the dog comes in.

To help with the expense of training the dog, Team Lydia plans a fundraising event at the Weborg 21 Centre in Gering on Saturday, March 12 starting at 2 p.m. The dog will be trained at PAWS Training Center in Virginia at a cost of between $10,000 and $13,000.

To help the family’s cause, Mid Nebraska Goldens in Gothenburg donated a Golden Retriever puppy which will be specially trained to detect Lydia’s seizures 10-20 minutes before they happen. By alerting Lydia’s parents, they’ll be to assist her by rolling her to her side, and clearing any obstructions from her airway.

“Because Lydia is only 2 years old, she can only be on a limited amount of medication because of her age and weight,” Morgan said. “She’s already reached the maximum amount she can be given; so the medication isn’t fully taking care of her seizures.”

Morgan said the temporal lobe in Lydia’s brain is enlarged, and medical specialists were hoping she would grow out of the seizures. However, brain scans have shown neurological factors preventing such an outcome.

Fundraising organizers plan to invite some of the area’s finest “chili heads” to stir up their favorite recipes in a cook-off.

So far, almost $6,000 in merchandise has been donated for the silent auction, which will coincide with a hog raffle. The event will also include music by DJ Prime, and a cash bar. Kids can take advantage of a bounce house, face painting and a snow cone machine.

Mitchell natives Morgan and Michael will be there too. So will Lydia’s paternal grandparents Scott and Carrie Snygg of Mitchell, and Kevin Collins of Gering.

For more information, visit the TeamLydia page on Facebook.

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