Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About mySMAteam
SMA
NEWS

Gevin the Service Dog Goes Viral in Video Helping University Student With SMA

Posted on November 10, 2021
Article written by
Victoria Menard


Erin Novakowski showcases the ways her service dog, Gevin, helps her with daily tasks. (@wheelierin/TikTok)

In September, TikTok user Erin Novakowski posted a TikTok video featuring her service dog, Gevin. Since then, the clip has garnered more than 844,000 views and 213,000 likes.

In the video, Novakowski — who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) — demonstrates some of the ways “smart boy” Gevin helps her in daily life — including with her power wheelchair, which she refers to as “The Whip.” Following the commands “Bump,” “Hand,” and “Pick it up,” Gevin shows how he can help Novakowski push her left arm back on her chair’s armrest after slipping, raise her right arm after falling in her lap, and pick up dropped items (in this case, a set of keys) from the floor.

Responding to “Tuck” and “Pull,” Gevin also demonstrates helping Novakowski pull her sleeves down when they are pushed too high up and opening her dorm room’s door by pulling on a rope attached to its handle.

“He’s a very good boy, and I love him very much,” concluded Novakowski, “and he gives me a lot of independence.”

Novakowski, 19, is one of many people with limited mobility due to SMA who rely on service dogs for help with everyday tasks. Service dogs like Gevin have been specially trained to assist people with all kinds of disabilities in completing tasks related to their disability, including retrieving items, providing wheelchair assistance, and assisting with household tasks.

A university student and writer, Novakowski is unapologetic about her disability and frank with those who criticize her opinions or content. In response to those who have deemed her an “inspiration,” she said in a video posted to her TikTok account, “It is not inspirational that I own a dog or have cool makeup or sleep or breathe. I am just a university student. I have bad habits and am not a perfect, innocent person just because I’m disabled.”

Novakowski is also a social media editor, video editor, and staff writer for Cripple Media — a Generation-Z-run media company “where young disabled creatives can shift the lens disabled people are viewed — into something more honest, accurate, impactful, and youthful.”

You can follow Erin Novakowsi (and Gevin) at @wheelierin on TikTok and read more about Cripple Media.

A mySMAteam Member said:

😜

posted 19 days ago

hug

Victoria Menard is a writer at MyHealthTeam. Learn more about her here.

Recent news

Disability advocate Vincent Pinti worked to create a scholarship for University of Michigan...
Posted 12/02/2021

University Student With SMA Awarded for Disability Rights and Inclusion Work

Disability advocate Vincent Pinti worked to create a scholarship for University of Michigan...
Posted 12/02/2021
My parents were always pretty supportive throughout high school and college. Still, adolescence...
Posted 12/01/2021

Tips for Parenting Teenagers With SMA

My parents were always pretty supportive throughout high school and college. Still, adolescence...
Posted 12/01/2021
Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi), a treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy...
Posted 11/30/2021

SMA Medication Zolgensma May Cause Liver Failure, Warns New Label Update

Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi), a treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy...
Posted 11/30/2021
The title character in “Ordinary Joe” and his on-screen spouse are raising a son diagnosed with...
Posted 11/25/2021

‘Ordinary Joe’ Wins in My Eyes as a Viewer With SMA

The title character in “Ordinary Joe” and his on-screen spouse are raising a son diagnosed with...
Posted 11/25/2021
I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 when I was 20 years old. Although...
Posted 11/24/2021

The Decision To Get a Scooter

I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 when I was 20 years old. Although...
Posted 11/24/2021
People with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) often have spine deformities that make it difficult to...
Posted 11/23/2021

Implanted Catheter May Ease Delivery of Spinraza for SMA, but Approach Comes With Risks

People with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) often have spine deformities that make it difficult to...
Posted 11/23/2021
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dmitry A. Muratov, plans to donate some of his prize money to support...
Posted 11/18/2021

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Will Donate Money to SMA Treatment for Children

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dmitry A. Muratov, plans to donate some of his prize money to support...
Posted 11/18/2021
Growing up required me to take more initiative when it comes to my own life. Having spinal...
Posted 11/17/2021

Finding My Voice for Self-Advocacy

Growing up required me to take more initiative when it comes to my own life. Having spinal...
Posted 11/17/2021
A new study has found that once a child with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 loses the...
Posted 11/16/2021

In Type 3 SMA, Breathing and Upper-Body Function Worsen After Walking Stops

A new study has found that once a child with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 loses the...
Posted 11/16/2021
Dr. Danielle Sheypuk is a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist, disability-rights...
Posted 11/11/2021

Psychologist With SMA Helps Clients Boost Their ‘Dateable Self-Esteem’

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk is a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist, disability-rights...
Posted 11/11/2021
SMA News

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest news about spinal muscular atrophy sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
SMA News

Thank you for signing up.

close