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Paws 4 Elijah

Elijah Knab

Elijah’s smiling face carries his family through the darkest of days while they wait for a diagnosis of his life-changing neurological illness.


Elijah Knab, 16, is a well-adjusted student at Dickson High School Dickson, Tennessee. Elijah has a promising future developing his passion for video game creation. As with all teens Elijah enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing video games. Elijah is the same as any student at Dickson High School with one exception; Elijah lives with idiopathic generalized seizures.

At the tender age of 5, Elijah developed epileptic seizures with no known cause. Now at the age when every young man is excited to be driving, Elijah’s seizures have increased and are numbering dozens an hour and are severe enough to alter his independence as a young man. His epileptologist, Dr. Pina-Garza (Vanderbilt Pediatric Epileptologist) is working hard to find an answer for his family and a cure for Elijah. Meanwhile, Dr. Garza suggests it is in Elijah’s best interest, for safety and independence, to obtain a seizure aid canine.

What can a seizure aid canine do to provide independence for Elijah? Service dogs, officially provided to National Seizure Disorders Foundation are trained  to provide service and emergency needs for patients with seizures and other life-altering conditions. The canine will be trained to alert Elijah before seizure activity begins and take action to ensure Elijah’s safety and well being.

Elijah’s hard-working mother, Crystal Hinson, now needs our help to provide Elijah with the canine that will allow him independence while helping him manage his conditions.  Working with National Seizure Disorders Foundation, Crystal has set a goal of $6,000 to purchase a well-trained service dog and provide quality care for the lifetime of the dog. National Seizure Disorders Foundation’s staff of volunteers nationwide will raise the needed amount in order to provide  Elijah and 99 other patients with the seizure aide canine specifically trained to meet each patients needs.

As all families with seizure patients do, Elijah’s family works hard to provide basic needs. Bombarded by unexpected medical bills.  Daily medications, recurring expensive tests, trips to Nashville to the doctor — it all adds up.

What can you do?

You can give today.

  • Donate any dollar amount into the “Paws 4 Elijah” account Bank of Dickson, Dickson Tennessee,
  • use the donate button on this site for most convenient donating.

For more information on seizures, seizure disorders, or
National Seizure Disorders Foundation contact Tonya by leaving a comment today. One person does make a difference. You can prove that fact today. You can be that person.

On behalf of Elijah’s family and friends and the staff of National Seizure Disorders Foundation, I thank you and extend a hand of help should you ever find yourself or a loved one in a similar situation.

Although we walk this journey we are not afraid because together we are victorious and not alone. – Terrific Tonya Heathco, NSDF

10 Responses to Paws 4 Elijah

  1. Tonya,
    Just saw this on LinkedIn. Is there a donate button somewhere or a place to send money? Also, if interested call me re some ideas on the medical side.

    • National Seizure Disorders Foundation has chosen at this time to accept donations on a one-to-one basis. You can find out more by sending an email to subject:donations. We are focused on building a quality source of information, education and support for patients, caregivers, and professionals. I will be contacting you personally to discuss what you have in mind for donations and to discuss your ideas.

      Your voice has been heard and comment appreciated,

      Terrific Tonya

  2. Lori, It’s good for us who lead “normal” lives to be aware of the plight of others. Maybe we can help or maybe it will serve us to be very thankful for how blessed we are.
    I appreciate you sharing Elijah’s story. It really tugged at my heart.
    God bless you!

    • Lynn,

      Thank you for the comment. Please revisit anytime and feel free to let your friends know of NSDF and the Paws-4-Elijah story. NSDF is open to any legitimate funding source. We beleive ultimately someone or several someones will hear our voice and respond with monetary kindness -

      Terrific Tonya

  3. Thanks so much for posting this – animals can be such a huge help to all of us in so many ways. I am so glad that Elijah will be getting a service dog to help out. I have faith that the money will come through and it will all work out.

    Thanks for all your efforts!

    • Lori, thank you for the beautiful comment and the powerful act of faith. Paws-4-Elijah has a purpose surpassing seizure assist canine for one seizure patient. As funds come in we will be using the same account for seizure patients nationwide. Over 6 million Americans live with seizures in their lives daily. A properly trained canine can perform tasks that allow a seizure patient to retain a sense of individuality. Canines have been trained to detect a change in specific hormones or chemicals given off by the patient, then they go into action protecting the patient and even dialing the phone for emergency help. Quite amazing.

  4. Hello, Tonya! I think it is wonderful that you posted about this young man’s need. I didn’t even realize that there were dogs used for this manner, but then I am only recently (the last 5 years) a dog lover after getting our own dog.

    Does Elijah’s family have a website? It would be super if there was a donate button for convenience that people could give toward this cause. I am getting a very good education reading your blog — I have been very ignorant about seizures! Thank you for putting yourself out there so that we can be aware and sensitive to those with this disorder.

    God bless, Terrific Tonya!

    TK Goforth

    • TK – Thank you for your attention to the website and this specific post. All donations to National Seizure Disorders Foundation go to Paws-4-Elijah until their goal is reached. Just one way I’m giving back:) Your words alert me to post some ‘left out’ information on the Paws-4Elijah page. The family does not have a separate page or site. Elijah’s mother is VP of National Seizure Disorders Foundation and has been an important part of our growth. So good to hear you are increasing your awareness of seizures.

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