For Burbank siblings Hannah and Luke Chulack, Wednesday changed everything. And by “Wednesday,” they mean their service dog, the canine brought in to make a life of isolation a bit more bearable.
Luke, 12, and Hannah, 10, have mitochondrial disorders that knock down their energy levels, prohibiting them from attending school or taking part in any physical play. Wednesday is the companion they can't normally have, the friend who fetches their socks, who is there when things get rough.
Grateful for their furry friend, the two set out to help the nonprofit — Canine Companions for Independence — that provided her. Never could they have known that their grand gesture of gratitude would end up suffering a cruel setback.
First, some history.
Luke was diagnosed with the disorder as a first-grader. By fourth grade, the constant pain, a weak immune system and weekly doctor's appointments made home schooling necessary.
“That's when I realized that Luke needed that someone — that something,” said his mom, Nanci Chulack.