This is Erin Condrin. She lives in Queensland, Australia, and has Classical Type Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome — a tissue disorder that causes difficulty with tasks like writing and tying shoelaces, as well as joint dislocations up to 20 times a day.
For Condrin, EDS also results in other conditions causing a large number of chemical allergies and complications eating food. But since mid-2015, her service dog, Lacey, who she found through Canine Helpers Australia, has been a source of support.
Just last week, Condrin and Lacey donned matching custom-made outfits as they prepared together for Condrin's senior formal.
"Lacey has many different costumes," said Condrin. "So it was natural she'd have a dress that matched mine. We asked my very talented dressmaker if she'd sew Lacey a skirt out of the left over material from my dress, and she was all for it."
And what did everybody else think?
Condrin said that while she loved prepping for the event together, she wasn't sure Lacey was ready to attend the dance itself.
And luckily, Condrin has a great human support system too.
Especially Canine Helpers Australia, who receive no government funding and rely on charitable donations — but who, by gifting her with Lacey, have made an immeasurable impact on Condrin's life.
"Thanks to Lacey, I am so much more independent," Condrin said. "If I drop something, I can ask Lacey to pick it up, instead of waiting for someone to come over and help me. She helps me open and close doors, meaning I can use accessible bathrooms independently. I can now change clothes and carry bags more easily, and she even helps me with wheelchair transfers by placing my footplate in the correct position.
"Emotionally, too, she has made such a positive impact. During hospital stays and rest periods at home, I know I always have someone by my side. Being a young disabled person can be daunting, but facing the world with an adorable fluffball by my side makes it so much easier."