Service Dog Scores Adorable Yearbook Photo Next to the Kindergartner She Cares for

Lange cautions that a service dog, while a tremendous help, isn't just an easy fix to a medical problem. "Ariel hasn't made our life any easier — it's very hard to adapt and transition," Lange — who also shares daughters Hannah, 15, and Heidi, almost 2, with husband Jason — explains. "We have a different family dynamic than we used to have. But our life is better with her, our daughter's life is better and our family life is better."

Ariel's presence has even encouraged Lange to launch a nonprofit that helps other families looking for service dogs for children with seizure disorders. 

"Anyone can order a service dog vest off Amazon and put it on a dog — there are lots of scams out there and so many people have lost a lot of money," Lange says. "It's been my intention all along to give back to our community and help other families, so no one has to feel as helpless as I did. I'm just a mom in Kentucky trying to find the good in such an ugly disease." 

Ariel's yearbook photo definitely helped Lange find a glimmer of good, too. "It's a global message of inclusivity, that it's okay that not everybody looks the same or learns the same," she says. "We all need that smile right now."

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