Lemonade StandNow this is a story has to touch even the hardest ofJason Rinkel hearts and if you’re a softie, you’re done for! I know I was! 🙂

AURORA, Colo. — Mark Rinkel is spending his summer selling lemonade to raise money for his 9-year-old brother, Jason, who has Type I diabetes.

Jason Rinkel is in line for a service dog that would alert him or a family member if the boy’s sugar levels drop to an extremely low or high level.

“It is unpredictable,” said Marisa Rinkel, Jason’s mother. “At times when I think his blood sugar is going to be low, he’s high. And when I think it is going to be high, it’s low.”

The service dog can cost $16,000 to $25,000.

“We are not exactly buying the dog; we are helping to fight off some of that cost,” said Mark.

So Mark decided a lemonade stand was the perfect way to do it. And he’s not selling the powdered kind. It’s fresh-squeezed lemonade.

“At first [people] think, ‘Oh, it is just a lemonade stand,'” said Mark. “But then when we go over there, we find their softer side when we tell them why we are doing the lemonade stand and 90 percent of the time, they will donate.”

“It makes me cry. He is amazing,” said Marisa, through tears. “He built a Web site, he passed out fliers. He got a Petco manager to pass out his fliers to everybody. He has just been incredible, a very great big brother.”

The lemonade stand can be found in different locations throughout the metro area.

On Sunday, July 29, you can find the stand behind the Dozens Restaurant at South Havana and Warren in Aurora. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the Lemonade Stand, and how you can help get a service dog for Jason, go to PawsOfLife.net. (The Denver Channel)

UPDATE – 8/13/08

Mark has raised a total of $13,850 and Jason will be getting his dog in February!

In February we will be spending 3 weeks with Heaven Scent Paws training with our new assistance dog, and family member. The typical response when I tell someone my son has diabetes is to be thankful for how manageable it is, or they question our diet. Most people don’t know type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children, usually like a mack truck. Our endocrinologist has told us to expect blood glucose numbers that just don’t make sense. An insulin dose that works one day, will be too much the next. While Jason looks great on the outside, there’s a lot of turmoil going on inside.

And Mark and his friends continue to raise money to be donated for other children to also need service dogs. What a wonderful young man with a giving heart!

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