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How A Special-Needs Child Got The Perfect Service Dog

Liam meets Fenway for the very first time.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterised by degenerative muscle weak spot. There isn’t any recognized remedy.

“It is 100 percent fatal,” Kristen McGourty instructed the Metrowest Daily News. Her son Liam, now 10, was recognized with DMD in 2010. They reside in Norwood, MA.

The illness impacts principally boys and the life expectancy sometimes doesn’t prolong past the teenage years, Kristen mentioned.

Due to DMD, Liam is small, however he is a big on the within. And very a lot an everyday boy. He is an “old soul,” his mother instructed the media outlet. He loves animals, tremendous heroes, Legos and the Boston Red Sox. And his favourite coloration is inexperienced.

After Liam was recognized, the McGourtys based a nonprofit — Liam’s L.E.E.P. Its mission: to help households, additional analysis and enhance consciousness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy. LEEP stands for the outlook they’ve taken of their journey with their son:

Living every day because it comes.
Enjoying each second.
Helping Liam and different boys with DMD Experience life to its fullest.
Preparing for the longer term.

In early adolescence, individuals with DMD lose their potential to stroll. For Liam, this occurred final December and he was confined to a motorized wheelchair that the household (due to Liam’s favourite crew) calls “The Green Monster.” Liam, a 4th grader, makes use of it to get round faculty.

The McGourtys reside in a two-family home — within the upstairs unit. His mother and father have to hold him up. They hope to someday have the ability to transfer to a spot that higher fits their wants. They are well-known of their city for his or her work with Liam’s L.E.E.P. and of their efforts to cram a lifetime of expertise into the years Liam has, they’re at all times out and about.

Liam has met members of the Red Sox, run the bases at Fenway Park and watched greater than 40 video games there.

When Pauline Hoegler, founding father of of Golden Opportunities for Independence (GOFI), heard Liam’s story, she reached out to the household.

Hoegler raises and trains golden retrievers to work as service canine. She invited the McGourtys to take part in a program that teaches kids how you can behave across the canine. Liam liked all of them.

Liam instructed Hoegler how a lot he liked the Red Sox. And that his favourite coloration was inexperienced.

Fenway along with his brothers and sisters. The inexperienced staining is brought on by publicity to biliverdin—a inexperienced bile pigment discovered within the placenta. It is innocent and non permanent.


Meanwhile, the McGourtys utilized to obtain a service canine, recognizing all the advantages — bodily and emotional — the animal would afford Liam. They had been positioned on a wait listing and stayed there for a yr.

In August, although, GOFI’s Four-year-old Bridget delivered a litter of 10 puppies, one in every of which, Hoegler instantly observed, appeared meant for a really particular boy.

“He was green,” Hoegler mentioned.

Hoegler has been breeding goldens for 20 years however has by no means seen the uncommon phenomenon herself, which happens when bile leaks from the placenta into the amniotic sac of the pet.

She known as the McGourtys, they usually got here the meet the pet they’d deliberate on calling Fenway from the outset. Now the identify appears to make additional sense.

The inexperienced is barely non permanent. Fenway will look a typical golden retriever earlier than lengthy, however his quickly stained fur appeared like serendipity to everybody.

“It was fate,” Hoegler mentioned.



On Saturday, Oct. 21, Liam’s L.E.E.P is internet hosting the eighth annual “Miles for Liam” 5K and stroll/run.

To make a donation that will likely be positioned right into a belief to assist the McCourty household, checks might be made out to “Liam McGourty” and mailed to 55 Cedar St., Norwood, MA 02062.

To study extra about GOFI, go to their web site or Facebook web page.

About Micky Antonio

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