UPDATE: Boy with diabetes saves pennies and gets his service dog - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Boy with diabetes saves pennies and gets his service dog

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UPDATE: WAITSFIELD, Vt. (ABC) -- "Aiden looked at me and said, 'This is a dream,'" his mother, Jenni Heath, told ABC News today.

Soon after Aiden, 8, of Waitsfield, Vermont, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago, he learned about canines trained to help monitor glucose levels in people.

"They can sense it 20 minutes to 30 minutes before the blood meter actually tells you that you're low," Jenni Heath said in an earlier interview.

Each service dog costs $15,000 so Jenni Heath encouraged her son to save, one penny at a time.

And that's what he did for little more than four years, even nicknaming the little red wagon that toted his coins around "Brinks."

In April, when Aiden was about $9,000 from his goal, news coverage of his effort helped bring in donations from across the U.S. Almost overnight, Aiden raised more than $20,000 and he and his mother put a down payment on a dog in Nevada.

Jenni Heath said Angel, a chocolate Labrador, had been trained from April until recently and had passed all her tests. She said she and Aiden had followed Angel's progress with videos and pictures.

Earlier today, around 10 a.m., Angel arrived from Nevada to the Heaths' home. Jenni Heath said today that with the help of a trainer, Aiden and Angel were starting to get to know each other and Aiden was learning how to command Angel.

"Aiden is over the moon," Jenni Heath told ABC News. "He was on pins and needles waiting for her."

She said that Angel would give her peace of mind, particularly at night, when it came to testing Aiden's sugar levels. She said that Angel's presence would also give Aiden a sense of independence.

On Tuesday, they all planned to head to Aiden's school to meet with school staff as well as students.

"We have been so amazed by the outpouring of support," Jenni Heath said. "He is feeling the love. ... There are no words."


WAITSFIELD, Vt. (ABC) -- On Friday, eight year-old Aiden Heath was still thousands of dollars away from the $15,000 needed to get a diabetic alert dog. By Sunday, his story had gone viral.

Aiden and his mother Jenni have been overwhelmed with the amount of support they've received from their community, and from strangers around the world.

"To not have to worry about that financially, is really big," his mother Jenni said.

Aiden's story was featured on ABC World News Tonight on Sunday. That afternoon, his Go Fund Me page was at around $5,000. By early Monday, it reached over $20,000 in donations.

"I was very overwhelmed and I didn't know it was going to get that far...umm, and I was shocked," Aiden said.

"He had this goal and it's finally coming true, so when she gets here to Vermont...that's going to be a big moment for this family," his mother Jenni said.

Right now, Aiden's mom doesn't get much sleep, worrying Aiden's blood sugar will rise or fall too much throughout the night, constantly checking in on him and monitoring his levels.

"Me, I think she needs to sleep, but ...I think she's doing that because she loves me," Aiden said.

While Aiden has since exceeded his goal, his mother says the extra money will be used for a dog trust fund of sorts.

"And that is going to go for veterinary care, if the dog needs special food," his mother Jenni said.

After so many gave back to him, Aiden decided with some of the extra money he got, he would do the same.

"We're going to donate it to people that want to get a service dog... because it just helps...a lot," Aiden said.

Aiden says he is more than thankful for the help he's received.

"I feel like I'm so loved," Aiden said.

It will still take seven to eight months to train Angel, so Aiden won't meet her until the fall.

If you want to donate to Aiden's cause, here is the link to his Go Fund Me page.

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