Danielle & Rollo: A Life-Changing Partnership

Woman with guide dog

By Danielle B.

When you have a condition like narcolepsy (periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time) with the symptom of cataplexy, (muscle weakness and paralysis brought on by strong emotion reations), you can, and rightly so, start to doubt your abilities and what you can achieve in your life. Many, including myself, feel cataplexy “lurking” in our body all the time, ready to sneak-up and take over. I personally began to guard myself while doing simple daily tasks, like walking up stairs, standing near windows in a tall building, laughing too much, and even riding in elevators.

I found the allure of sleep made the thought of riding a bus or even sitting down in a shoe store questionable for me. Leaving the predictability of home started a series of questions. What if I collapse? How long will I be in paralysis? What if I fall asleep on the bus? Will I wake up if I dose off? Will I wake up to my alarm? Will I have enough energy to make it? Where can I take a nap?

That has all changed for me now due to a magnificent dog named Rollo from Canine Partners for Life. 

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