When Susan and Don Fish went to the community for help, they had no idea how much help they would get.
The family set out to raise $13,000 for a seizure response dog for their 4-year-old son, Nicholas. He was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and asthma and is prone to seizures, some lasting for hours.
By the end of December, $28,000 was raised for Four Paws on behalf of Nicholas. The money will not only pay for training Nicholas' dog, but for four other dogs as well.
"I don't know what to call it," Susan (Sears) Fish said. "Whether it was overwhelmed, flattered, amazed, but we were really happy we were able to help so many other kids."
Nicholas' grandfather, Laverne Fish, said the money for Nicholas' dog was raised within the first month -- mostly from local sources.
"We were just flabbergasted," he said. "We did not know if we would even get it. We were just absolutely amazed. It's just an amazing thing to happen."
Susan said many people donated to Four Paws for Nicholas, but one donation stands out in her mind.
"(The card) said she was a grandma and she didn't have much, but she really wanted to help out this sweet little kid. And in it was a crisp $5 bill," she said.
Nicholas won't actually get his dog until May because it still needs to go through training. Nicholas and his family will go to training camp with the dog for two weeks in May.
Until then, Nicholas and his mother are anxiously awaiting the dog's arrival.
"We've gotten some books about training service dogs, and we talk about the dog and how to take care of the dog. He's excited," she said.
Laverne said Nicholas is still dealing with his health issues. Though he hasn't had any major seizures, he has still had smaller ones.
"Nick is a really sweet boy," Susan said. "Maybe it's small town America, but people really want to help others. Kids and dogs: what doesn't touch your heart?"