Community takes action for Chesapeake girl in need of service dog

Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 19:23:51-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The family of 12-year-old Ellie Lucas hopes putting pen to paper will help keep her alive.

Lori Lucas told us her daughter has suffered from life threatening wheat and peanut allergies since she was six months old.

“That’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of worry, which has affected her health. She can die from this," Lori said.

Lori said Ellie has had six incidents where she was exposed.

“I woke up and my eyes were swollen and so my mom had to give me the Epipen, which it’s this big needle and you gotta stab it into your thigh," Ellie said.

To help keep her from having a deadly medical episode, the family is looking to purchase a service dog.

“The service dog will be able to clear a room for her, clear a table," Lori said.

The only problem, it comes with a $9,000 price tag - too much for the Lucas family to afford.

They also said insurance won't help cover the cost.

Now, Ellie's aunt is taking action.

Christie Lewter created a cookbook, "Cooking for a Cure - Puppy Love for Ellie".

“We got the books the middle of July and we order 230 books and we only have two books left. We’ve made about $3,000," Lewter explained.

The spiral book is full of recipes from family and friends all hoping to give Ellie a new outlook on life.

Since publishing in a July, they've raised $3,000 and in the process of ordering more books.

Ellie said the dog, named Tiana, will give new meaning to her young life - independence.

“Not having to always have my mom there because I know she can’t always be there for me," Ellie said.

To find out more about the book, you can call Lori Lucas at (757) 288-4516 or email her at