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Girl raises hog to help her friend purchase an ‘alert dog’

By Staff | Mar 3, 2015

Brandi Spaich is a 10-year-old girl who knows what it means to be a friend.

So much so that half the proceeds from the hog she has raised for auction at the Lee County Fair will be donated to help her best friend Maggie, who has Type-I diabetes.

Treatment, including the purchase of an “alert dog,” to alert her or her parents if her blood sugar goes too high or too low, can be expensive.

For example Jasper cost more than $20,000 because of his specialized training and insurance did not cover the cost.

So Brandi, a 4-H member who has entered a pig named Mr. Bacon, in the Lee County Fair, will take half the money from the March 7 livestock auction and donate it to Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers on behalf of Maggie and Jasper.

The other half will go to Brandi’s college fund so she can learn to be a veterinarian and learn more about genetic engineering.

“Brandi has always wanted to help her friend since she found out about the dog. I was helping to start raise money for them for the dog,” said Brooke Tremeper, Brandi’s mom. “It upset her to know that Maggie could die from this.”

“I didn’t want her to not have the dog. Without it she could have seizures, blindness, kidney failure or even death,” Brandi said.

Brandi started by breaking her piggy bank and donating all the money. After that, it became more important to her, Tremeper said.

Brandi received a “Do the Right Thing” award from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department for turning in money she found to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.

When no one claimed it, Brandi got the money back but shared it with her friend Maggie and set up The Brandi Spaich 4H Fund to raise more money.

“She said she wouldn’t have had the money anyway, so why not help someone else with it,” Tremeper said.

Her next fund-raising effort will involve auctioning off Mr. Bacon, the pig she has taken care of to show at the fair.

Every year at the Lee County Fair, the local 4-H children choose projects. In Brandi’s case, her project was the hog. The children auction off the livestock to raise money for their college education funds.

Brandi wants to help raise money for Maggie’s expenses and raise awareness of Type I Diabetes, while also feeding the homeless.

The great news is that Brandi’s pig won the award for most weight gain in show Saturday.

She also will donate the meat to the homeless shelters and feed veterans, since she plans on buying Mr. Bacon back at the auction, which creates a lot of technicalities.

“She’s collecting the money so she has access to the meat so she can give it to the homeless. She has to bid it at auction like anyone else,” Tremeper said. “She has to bid for the hog and buy it from herself.”

The check will be given back to her, with half the proceeds going to Maggie.

Brandi said she believes it’s important to give back, which is not always the case with someone so young.

“It makes you feel good and people need help. Something that you have you can help them with it,” Brandi said.

Anyone who wishes to help can go to Brandi’s Facebook page at facebook.com/brandis4hlivestock.