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MIDLOTHIAN (CBS 11 NEWS) – At the Sellers’ home Joshua, 7,  is happily playing catch with Checkem his black lab. The two look out for each other but Checkem does more than just play around with Joshua.

“She can feel what his body is doing,” says mom Ashley Sellers.

Checkem is only a year old, but she’s Joshua’s life line. She’s a diabetic alert dog.

Joshua and his alert dog Checkem (Photo credit: Ashley Sellers)

Joshua and his alert dog Checkem (Photo credit: Ashley Sellers)

The little boy has Type 1 Diabetes and one of the most severe cases. When he was diagnosed at 10 months old, his parents were told his chances of survival were slim.

“I’ve never felt that much pain in my life,” says dad Cole Sellers “Talk about hitting your knees and praying it was like ok god we need help.”

The family’s prayers were answered, but at any time Joshua can have a seizure, pass out or slip into a coma.

“It’s nerve racking all day you’ve got numbers going through your head constantly,” says Ashley “The time of day,  if he’s going through a growth spurt, what time he at –  what he ate – how much he ate.”

Checkem importance is even more significant at that point because she can sense blood sugar fluctuations before symptoms even occur.

“She’s pawing me because his blood sugar is high,” says Ashley “If he’s low she will touch us with her nose.”

Checkem’s importance to the family is obvious, but keeping her isn’t cheap. The Sellers have to raise about $20,000 to keep her for good.

Until now she’s basically been on loan from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers based out of Madison Virginia which trained her.

That money, in turn, funds new dogs and new training.

“It’s comforting and its really nice thing to have peace of mind having a little side kick help watch him,” says Ashley.

There will be a fundraiser for the Sellers on December 4th in Midlothian from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at All About Dogs located at 840 East Main Street in Midlothian.

Everyone is welcome and you can even bring your own dog to take a picture with Santa.

Online: – under special instructions type ‘Joshua Sellers’.

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