Benefit concert to help buy service dog for diabetic toddler set for Sunday in EHT

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Submitted/Braydon Hraska plays with his mother Robyn. Submitted/Braydon Hraska plays with his mother Robyn.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 was the day that changed the lives of the Hrsaka family.

 Their son Braydon, now two and a half years old, was taken to urgent care to see his pediatrician. The doctor knew immediately something was wrong with the young boy. A few blood tests were run, but when two different glucose monitors failed to even register a number, the doctor knew he had to deliver the news.

 “He sat down in front of me and said, ‘I hope I’m wrong but I think he is diabetic,’” said his mother Robyn Eccles-Hraska, an Egg Harbor Township native who now lives in Estell Manor. The doctor then called an ambulance. “I was in shock and I had to hold back the tears so Braydon wouldn’t be scared.”

 “The ambulance came. There were three medics. They started to run an IV. They put him in a car seat attached to a stretcher and transported him to the ambulance. We were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City. We were in emergency intensive care unit for several hours.”

After running several tests at the hospital, it was confirmed that the boy had Type 1 Diabetes, and the doctors needed to have him flown to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.

 His mother and his father Stephen were not permitted to go along for the flight. “What a scary night,” she said. “Stephen and I drove as fast as we could there to meet Braydon and to see what was being done.”

 Braydon stayed in intensive care for two days, where he was given the insulin that his pancreas couldn’t provide. The family remained at the hospital for several more days, where they were educated on how to care and manage their son’s condition.

 To help take care of their son’s medical needs, friends and family members have arranged for a large fundraising event to raise money for the purchase of a diabetic service dog and to offset the family’s continuing medical expenses. Diabetic service dogs are trained to identify a scent obtained from a diabetic when the diabetic is undergoing a decrease in blood sugar and to alert its owner to the change.

 Because of the specialized training it takes to prepare these dogs, they cost around $25,000, his mother said.

 The fundraiser called “Angels of Hope for Braydon,” will be hosted by The Friends of Braydon from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, June 29 at the Farmington Fire Hall, 301 Maple Ave.

The event features an all-star concert with The Dan Burke Band and other guests. Concert is organized by Tony Mart Productions.

 An auction, cash bar, 50/50, live music and face painting are also planned. Adults are $20. Children 3 and older are $10. Proceeds benefit the family.

Concert information available at For tickets or to make a donation, call Robyn Eccles-Hraska at 609-457-1905 or like the organization on Facebook at Angels of Hope for Braydon.

“Our struggles are real. The worry is always looming. My son is so brave, yet if you just looked at him you would never know they had such a story to tell. T1D’s looks like everyone else,” she said, adding that appearance is an illusion. “What they see is only half the story. They don’t see the worry, the needles, the blood, the emergency room trips and the sleepless nights watching him sleep, testing sugar in the middle of the night, nursing schedules, worries when he is at school or out of my sight.”

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