WEST JEFFERSON-The Ashe County Civic Center will be rockin’ for Rocky in March.
Several regionally renowned performance artists will take the stage in West Jefferson at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 11 in a benefit concert to raise money to purchase a diabetes alert dog for local resident Peggy Exum.
All of the proceeds are intended to cover the purchase and training of Rocky, a golden retriever trained specifically to assist diabetics in distress.
Exum has suffered from Type I diabetes for the past 51 years and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rocky from the West Coast, but she needs the help of the community to cover the accumulating expenses that stand in the way.
Rocky has already received training so he can “pick-up” on Exum’s scent and chemical indicators, so he can alert his soon-to-be owner of pending danger should her blood-sugar level plummet.
“I’m afraid that one day I won’t be able to wake up,” said Exum of future diabetic episodes, which necessitate the quick arrival of her new best friend, Rocky.
In anticipation of his arrival, Exum supplied swabs of her saliva at various stages of her blood sugar cycle to trainers so Rocky can familiarize himself with her health trends, which will enable him to assess possible dangerous situations and alert Exum.
“Because I have had it (diabetes) so long, I developed insulin unawareness in which I am unable to recognize the symptoms when my blood sugar goes too high or low,” she said. “This can be life threatening. I am especially concerned about these occurring when I am asleep. I have contacted Diabetic Alert Dogs of America and I have made a deposit on an English Cream Golden Retriever named Rocky.”
Rocky’s total costs are already approaching $15,000.
The star-studded benefit features the “Dollar Brothers,” David Johnson, Steve Kilby, Steve Lewis, Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKenzie. Tickets are available at the Ashe County Arts Council or at the door. Call (336) 846-ARTS for more information. If you are unable to attend the event and would still like to donate, click to youcaring.com/peggy-exum-673698.
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.