BY VICKI BROWN
A fundraiser for Noah’s Journey was held at Faith Church in Walterboro on Saturday, June 26th.
The event sponsored by Aubrey Michele, Retta Lyons and Nathalie Lutz was held to assist Noah Lutz with an upcoming operation and to train his bitch Journey to be a certified service dog.
Noah, now 12, was born with midline medical disorder and has undergone 45 facials and multiple operations on his bladder.
During all of Noah’s surgeries, a stuffed puppy has undergone every procedure on him. But not so long ago, Noah received a real dog named Journey.
Journey was his close friend and companion every day. The dog helps Noah with his medical problems and gives the boy support and unconditional love. But he must be well trained to accompany Noah on his next operation in September.
Along with his parents, Noah and Journey will travel to John Hopkins for another eight-week study this fall. Family, friends, and Faith Church hosted the fundraiser to solicit donations to help cover the cost of this procedure and training Journey to become fully certified as a service dog.
“We are planning an 8-week stay in Baltimore for a major surgery (22 hours) that will require Noah to stay in the hospital for up to 2 weeks, and then several daily appointments for the rest of our stay,” said Natalie Lutz. “As several surgeons are needed, our appointment has been postponed to September 29th. We arrive on the 26th, on the 27th before the operation, on the 28th and finally on the 29th. “
The family expenses include driving to Johns Hopkins Hospital-Baltimore, first the car, and then plane tickets for Noah’s father, Quillin Lutz, to travel back and forth to visit his son. The family says they are praying that there will be an opening for patient family housing that will cost $ 1,400. Patient apartments also provide about 80 percent of the meals.
If there are no openings, the family will have to stay in the nearby hotels for about $ 11,200 without meals. All nearby hotels are $ 200 a night. They even checked out AirBnB which would cost $ 8,919 even without food, but it has a kitchen.
Since Noah was approved as a service dog, Journey has taken the first steps in training for $ 4,000. Your next workout will be the urinary spasm training. This will help her identify cramps before they happen, so Noah is in a safe place to process them. The cost of this training? $ 10,000.
So the family, friends, and church worked together to sell chicken food and hold a silent auction.
“We thank those who worked on this event for weeks, late Friday evening, light early Saturday, and early Saturday for setting up the grills, working in the heat, walking indoors, helping with meal service, and this family love.” said Natalie. “We are humble and very grateful to live in a community that supports the people around them.”
The Lutz family has a special group page that tells more about Journey called “Noah’s Journey” on Facebook.
Here you have information and more personal updates. If you are not there and want to follow the next steps, contact Lutz’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2230809167147594/ or #NoahsJourney #NoahBEStrong.
For those looking to send a donation, you can mail a check to Noah’s Journey and mail it to 1129 Sawmill Rd. Round O, SC, 29474. This will be deposited into Noah’s donation account at BB&T Bank in Walterboro. You can also donate at Venmo: @ Quillin-Lutz-1, or Paypal: Nathalie Lutz ([email protected]).
All of these donations will be used directly for the service dog and hospitalization.
“Our family thanks you. Whether or not you can donate, we appreciate all of your prayers and thoughts, ”said Natalie. “Noah’s way is long. This will be a life changing operation for him. There are so many emotions wrapped around all of this. We cry when Noah doesn’t see us. Our hearts ache for everything he’s had to go through. BUT we also cry with pride for the amazing young man he becomes. God works through Noah, while Noah blesses all he meets. “