Lori Johnson, BPhed. BEd, Special Education Specialist, Ontario Teaching Certificate
My journey with diabetes began many years ago when I first experienced life with type one diabetes. Fear is a way of life when a person with diabetes can’t feel the changes in their body.
In 2010, I met Dr. Claire Guest, Co-Founder and CEO of Medical Detection Dogs in the UK. She was a guest speaker at a conference in Toronto. This was the first time I had heard about a dog’s ability to recognize and alert to low blood sugar. Meeting her at a conference in Toronto changed my life forever. I was excited and so hopeful to be a part of something new and groundbreaking.
As part of my journey, I enjoyed a wonderful career as a teacher. I was blessed with the opportunity to use dogs in my classroom to support my students in my last seven years as a teacher in Simcoe County. The power of the canine-human connection that I witnessed in this program would later become the motivation to develop a program for kids who are experiencing the social and emotional challenges of diabetes.
In 2013 I founded Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs and the journey to help kids turned into a reality.
In 2013 I founded Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs and the journey to help kids turned into a reality. My dog Charity is honored in the name of the charity, as she worked in the classroom with my students and supported my learning about low blood sugar sniffing. My thirty-three years of teaching, eight years of working within the service dog industry, and personal experience with diabetes gave me the foundation to begin the charity. The learning never stops; I take every opportunity to continue to develop my knowledge and skills.
In 2013, I was proud to receive the “Inclusion Excellence Award” from Simcoe County Services. I believe in inclusion to create a positive atmosphere where the best work can be realized.
Sweet Charity will reach greatness with the support of people who have the common goal of helping children with diabetes. Community building, collaboration, hard work, lots of heart and special dogs is the magic combination. Greatness is about belief, and I believe wholeheartedly in Sweet Charity.
Who We Are
Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. Our charitable number is #82238 5035 RR0001. We received our charitable status in May 2014. Sweet Charity exists to train dogs to help people who need them. It’s that simple!