Students fundraise to get classmate a service dog

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At a time when most students have winter break, presents and Santa Clause on their minds, thoughts of giving are on the minds of students at Orchard Avenue Elementary School.

Students are pulling together in an effort to raise $10,000 to enable their classmate, Shane Walz, to get a service dog.

Shane, 10, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age four and has since lost his ability to walk.

"His disease is progressive and he's rapidly losing strength in his upper part of his body," said Brenda Verna, Shane's aid.

The service dog would help Shane with everyday tasks like opening doors, picking up items and moving around. The dog would also alert Shane's parents when he's in need.

Shane's classmates are inspired by him and want to help him get his dog.

"I think helping other people is just a nice act of kindness, that's the Christmas spirit," said Megan Lederman, one of Shane's fourth-grade classmates.

With collection jars and posters up throughout the school, the students have a competition for which grade level can raise the most money for him. They've also held bake sales in Shane's honor. So far, they've raised more than $1,000.

"It's Christmas time and they're not thinking of themselves, they're thinking of Shane and what he needs," said Meagan Ralston, Shane's fourth-grade teacher.

Despite being in a wheel-chair, Shane doesn't let anything stop him.

"He constantly talks about getting his walking back and he has the most hope of anybody I've every seen," Verna said.

If you'd like to help Shane's cause, you can donate to the Shane Michael Walz Benefit Fund at Wells Fargo.

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