Current Recipient Stories
From 1979 -2020, we placed our monkey helpers with people who were living with many different mobility-limiting issues. Most of our recipient-monkey helper pairs spend a decade or more together, with full support from the Helping Hands staff. We will continue to provide support for all our active placements throughout their time together.
Their relationships are unique, remarkable, and life-changing. Here are our current recipients stories.
Billy & Phoebe
Billy was the outgoing friend who made sure everyone was included and was everyone’s best friend, according to Deb, his mother. “Everyone knew, if you needed something, call Billy. Unfortunately, this all ended on August 20, 2017, when Billy had his accident, breaking his C4 & C5 vertebrae and leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Maryanne & Jessica
Paralyzed since 2007 as a result of a sudden blood clot in her spine, Maryanne has adapted to the dramatic change in her life. A massage therapist for 20 years, she renovated her home to be accessible and learned how to be independent again. Her sense of independence and purpose grew when Jessica came to live with her.
Corrine & Glassie
At age 17, Corinne started experiencing early signs of Multiple Sclerosis which continued to progress, leaving her fully paralyzed on the left side of her body by age 36. A devoted wife and mother, Corinne applied to Helping Hands after the passing of her first service animal, a dog named Fred. Corrinne was matched with Glassie in June 2008.
Ned & Kasey
In 2005, Ned Sullivan was your typical college student—a senior at the University of Arizona studying communications and planning for a future career in sports marketing. His life changed in an instant when a serious car crash left him a quadriplegic. While Ned was recovering, his sisters learned about Helping Hands at a school presentation and introduced him to the program. In 2006, he was matched with his service monkey, Kasey.
MaryKay & Amy
MaryKay was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident in July 1986. She thought about getting an assistance dog, but was dismayed by the fact that she could never interact physically with or pet a dog. She learned about Helping Hands from a news broadcast one night, about 18 years after her injury. She knew this was the service animal she had been looking for. When Amy arrived, MaryKay’s life took on new purpose.