Former Dallas Cowboy donates service dog to teen with diabetes

Payton Stevens suffers from diabetes. If his blood sugar falls too low while he’s sleeping, he could slip into a coma. Now, thanks to some generous donations from his community, he has a new service dog, Grace, who will help keep him safe.

Previously, Payton’s parents set alarms throughout the entire night to wake up and check on him. 

“One of us goes to bed a little bit earlier than the other. The other one stays up and checks his blood before we go to bed,” Payton’s dad John explained to Fox 4 Dallas. “And the other one wakes up at 2 o’clock in the morning to check his blood, and do it again when you wake up at 4 to go to work.”

Now, thanks to Grace, who can smell if Payton’s blood sugar levels get too low, they won’t have to. Even better, Grace will give Payton’s parents peace of mind when one day he goes off to college.

But service dogs like Grace can be expensive. So, Payton’s classmates held a dance-a-thon to help raise more than 35 thousand dollars to help him get one. And when former Dallas Cowboys player Jay Novacek heard about Payton, he decided to donate one of the service dogs he breeds on his ranch. The money Payton’s classmates raised can now go towards training, food and veterinary costs for Grace.

Grace will take about a year to train, and bond with Payton. When Grace is ready, everyone in the Stevens’ household will finally be able to rest easy, thanks to the generosity of their community.