Boy Sells Lemonade To Raise Money For Service Dog

Lemonade Stand

12-year-old Mark Rinkel is an extremely dedicated brother.

When Mark found out that his 9-year-old brother had Type I diabetes, he decided that he wanted to help. His brother, Jason, is on a wait list to receive a service dog that would alert him or a family member if his sugar levels drop to an extremely low or high level.

Service dogs are expensive and can cost around $25,000. Heaven Scent Paws, a non-profit organization, has offered to cover most of the cost. Even with the generous donation, the Rinkel family still needs to pay $6,000. Mark wanted to help raise money to help with the costs. He decided to earn money the old-fashioned way — selling lemonade.

His efforts of selling fresh squeezed lemonade have been quite successful. Mark and his friends have raised $3,000 towards the cost of Jason’s service dog. Mark says that he will continue setting up lemonade stands for as long as it takes to raise the $6,000. He wants to exceed the $6,000 goal, so he can help another diabetic child receive a medical assistance dog also.

Mark says that he loves his brother so much and that he doesn’t expect anything in return for helping Jason.


10 Responses to “Boy Sells Lemonade To Raise Money For Service Dog”

  1. 3FURS says:

    ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’. You’re a good brother Mark.

  2. james says:

    This is a wonderful story, but unfortunately the entire concept I find flawed. Jason needs to learn how to take care of himself. He’s not blind or in a wheelchair. A dog in the long term will be more of a hassle and hinderence to his normal way of life.

    I’m qualified to comment on this, as I’m a type 1 diabetic myself. I wrote him and his family a letter:

  3. Sandy says:

    This kid rocks. What a good kid. We see so much news on the bad kids and ones who abuse animals then you see a kid like this and it reminds you of the majority

  4. MaineMom says:

    james, maybe you’re not a “dog person,” and that’s OK. But all types of service dogs are being accepted in more places - schools, offices, public/government locations, commercial airlines, etc. - than ever before. Maybe when you were diagnosed trained dogs wern’t available and/or you elected how you would deal with it. Agreed, he needs to learn all he can (and “medical science” changes daily), but a dog at this stage of his life may be a great asset in more ways than we can possibly guess.

  5. pam says:

    i would love to make a donation to this effort. how do we do it itchmo?

    Mark has a website,, that gives more information about donating.

  6. james says:

    quote: james, maybe you’re not a “dog person,” and that’s OK.

    Of course I love dogs. Black labs mostly. But that’s irrelevant. Is a dog going to be with him when he’s rollerblading six miles from home? Scuba diving? Biking a 20 mile ride? At a swim tourny 20 miles from home? On a date at 16?

    Your blood sugars during your daily routine are usually the same, with occasional swings. The time to be concerned with high/low glucose is when you’re doing activities that deviate from the norm (like the above,) and odds are into his teens he’s not going to have his dog with him every step of the way!! And he won’t have the dog for good reason - it’s simply not needed.

    Just because it’s a wonderfully perfect story, (blond hair kid, dogs, disease, lemonade,) doesn’t mean it’s a wise long term decision and immune to comment or criticism. If they can afford a dog, they need to look into an insulin pump combined with a constant glucose meter. That equipment is basically an artificial pancreas - and will keep his blood sugar levels LEVEL. (Avoiding the need for a dog to alert you when you’re extremely high or low.)

    The goal for type 1 diabetics is to live a normal life. Carting a dog around won’t do that.


  7. james says:

    quote: But all types of service dogs are being accepted in more places - schools, offices, public/government locations, commercial airlines, etc. - than ever before.

    Which is great. We had a service dog being trained at my work for a while and I was sorry to see her go. My opinion isn’t whether or not service dogs should be accepted. (Of course they should be accepted and respected everywhere.) My view is that a service dog dedicated for the sole purpose of sniffing out high/low blood sugars is overkill, and won’t benefit a little boy except for the “cute” factor.

    Sorry for the double post. All the best- james…

  8. Donna says:

    This young man is america’s future.I adore the fact he is trying to do “good “. Smart and unselfish young person.I am very proud of ths boy ! His parents and brother should be very proud.Quite an loving act.

  9. Cathy says:

    I totally agree with James. I was thinking the same thing (what the heck does he need a service dog for) when I saw it on the news last night.

  10. PMM says:

    Unfortunately, my life abounds with diabetics, both human and pet. As everyone is aware of, i am sure, there are all types of Diabetes. My sister is a very brittle diabetic. Almost impossible to regulate. She and her husband have seven cats. my sister started to drop, in her sleep, so low, that she would wake, but not be coherent. she was not with it enough to wake her husband to help her. She gort up, and wandered down the hall, and fell down the stairs. This is a woman who KNOWS how to watch her condition. The next night the same thing happened. But, her kitty, Christy was ready. Again, not a trained alert cat, just a very intuitive one. She sensed my sister dropping. She cried and batted at my sister until she woke up. It was before she dropped so low, she lost her ability to ask for help. Christy has not missed once since the first episode. There are many ‘degrees’ of diabetes. A service animal is invaluable to alert in circumstances that could become life threatening.
    What I find appaling here is the price tag. There are fully trained service alert dogs for all sorts of conditions. And, they do not cost $25,000.
    Just an added note. My sister in a high risk for surgery. She cannot have a pump implanted. Pumps are good, if they are what you need. They are not unfortunately, the ‘cure’ for diabetes. If only……

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