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4 Paws could save young Alexandria boy's life one day

Monday - 7/25/2011, 9:58am  ET

A sign outside the Grounded Coffee in Alexandria. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON -- Seven-year-old Evan Moss has been suffering from seizures since the first month of his life.

The Alexandria boy was born with epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex and, by time he was 4, Moss was experiencing 300 to 400 seizures a month. Brain surgery cured him of the mostly nighttime tremors, or so his family thought. But two years later, they were back.

Moss' parents, Lisa and Rob, have learned to cope with the constant fear of their son's condition. They sleep with him in their bed, one hand resting on the young boy so that no potentially dangerous movement is missed.

The vigil is exhausting for all parties. A specially-trained dog could be the answer, but the cost is steep: $13,000 for a seizure assistance canine through the 4 Paws for Ability program.

Moss took matters into his own hands, writing and illustrating a book to help his parents raise money for the dog and also to raise awareness for his condition.

"My Seizure Dog" tells the story of what Moss expects his relationship with his dog to be like. All revenues go to help train and care for the canine. The book costs $10.

On Sunday, Moss and his parents hosted a book signing at Grounded Coffee in Alexandria, Va. About 400 people lined up despite the oppressive heat.

An employee said she had never seen such a big turn out at the coffee shop. But Moss wasn't surprised. When asked if he thought so many people would be interested, he laughed and said, "Actually, yeah."

So what would Moss and his pooch do when they finally meet?

"The seizure dog would get pizza with me," he said.

The special canine can also help with more pressing matters, like responding to and detecting seizures before they strike, or locating medicine in an emergency.

WTOP's Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)