Vote for Karen Ruddlesden and COCO - Call 0844 646 02 04*
Addison's disease is a rare disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones. When a sufferer's cortisol levels drop dangerously low they will have an Addisonian Crisis, which is always serious, and can be fatal if not treated quickly.
Karen has this disease as a complication of serious health problems that she has had all her life. However, in the last four years it has become more difficult to control as she has her adrenal glands removed because of tumours.
Karen approached Cancer and Bio-Detection Dogs, who already train Hypo Alert dogs for people with hard-to-control diabetes. She was paired with 15-month-old Coco who is their first Addison's assistance dog.
Coco acts as an early warning system for Karen, letting her know when her cortisol levels are low, even before she starts to feel unwell.
He carries Karen's injection kit with him in his vest and is trained to retrieve it on cue.
* Calls cost 5p from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary and calls from mobiles will cost considerably more. Voting closes at 19.30 on 14 March.