A little about my family.......
May 8th, 2011 (Mother's Day), we found out we were going to be parents. It was a dream come true after waiting four years to be parents. When I called my husband, he raced home from work with flowers in hand to say, "Happy Mother's Day," for the first time. Needless to say, we were ecstatic to be adding our "little angel" to our family, which already included our two, four-legged girls, Sheasta and Kaydee. On that joyous day we talked about our dreams coming true, tossed around names, and wanted to be surprised at the birth of "our angel."
I was given an amazing opportunity one month later, June 2011, to attend Bergin University of Canine Studies. This was made possible by a wonderful friend who paid for my schooling. I packed up my car headed to Santa Rosa, CA for six weeks with our growing "angel." Days were spent researching, reading, training, and training a dog to be a Service Dog. It was a great experience learning under the guidance of Bonnie Bergin. I am now an official certified Service Dog trainer.
At a regular check up in mid August 2011, after having an ultrasound, we were told to head directly to a prenatal specialist. Our world came to a screeching halt as we left immediately with tears streaming down our faces, unsure of what to expect. We met with a geneticist and I underwent an amniocentesis so we could get some answers. We survived the days of waiting for answers surrounded by family and friends. On August 29th, 2011, it was confirmed that "our angel" had major medical conditions.
On September 13th, 2011 we welcomed our angel Michael Charles Gerken into our life and hearts. We enjoyed the precious little time we spent with Michael that night. Having been blessed with a son for just a few short hours made a tremendous impact in our life. We have chosen to remember this day, not as his birth or death, but as the day he became our angel.
As I recuperated medically I was determined to not let his short time here on earth go unnoticed. I knew that if he had survived he would have needed a Service Dog to help mitigate his disabilities and, as a mother I would do anything to help my son. Michael's Angel Paws is dedicated to helping our community train, certify, find a Service Dog, and to offer H.O.P.E. In my ten years as a dog trainer, I heard over and over the word H.O.P.E. to finding an organization in Las Vegas to help those who want a Service Dog to enhance their quality of life.
Bryce & Stephanie Gerken
President & Founder