Last Saturday morning, Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic provided a local boy with his one true wish, a puppy he can raise, in hopes of helping his continued healing from cancer.
Jimmy, age 13, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor, on April 9, 2015 and it turned his world upside down. Through his many visits to the hospital, he noticed that therapy dogs were brought into the Ronald McDonald house to help the children. At the time, Jimmy was too ill with chemotherapy to visit with the dogs, but vowed one day to have a nice dog of his own to care for.
That thought remained in his mind when he recovered, and he was determined to have his own therapy dog to help children.
When he began to feel better, he asked his parents if they could get a puppy, however with all the necessary appointments and medical care issues, his parents Susan and Jim (last names withheld by request) thought it would be best to wait. Jimmy went one step further and created a “power point presentation on the healing and relaxing qualities of having a puppy,” according to his mother.
His father added that, “[Jimmy] did all this research online -- it was a very convincing presentation, and of course we said, ‘Absolutely!’” Susan and Jim then got in touch with Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, the local chapter, and Nora Chazan, Volunteer Adoption Coordinator at Wolf Trap Animal Rescue of Vienna to find a suitable puppy for Jimmy.
After reviewing 18 pups’ profiles online, Jimmy narrowed the decision down to six, so he could meet them all in person. Finally, very late on Friday night at PetSmart, he chose the one: Molly, a ten-week-old terrier/lab mix. The choice was difficult, but Molly was the one in particular who gravitated toward Jimmy. His father stated, “She came up and started licking his face from the first moment they got together, and that ended up being the one.” Kellie Wyatt of Make-A-Wish said that when Jimmy walked in Saturday morning, PetSmart had Molly all ready for him, and when he saw her, “he was beaming from ear to ear.”
Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic has a corporate agreement with Banfield Pet Hospital, who will be donating one year of their Optimum Wellness Plan for services and vet visits for Molly.
Jimmy’s wish is an example of the continued dedication and success of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
According to the ‘Wish Impact Study,’ a combined 89 percent of nurses, doctors, social workers and child life specialists surveyed say they believe that the wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health, and 83 percent of adult former wish kids surveyed confirm that they did experience improved physical health and strength as a result of their wish come true.
The duo has been bonding for the past few days, learning about walks and making new adventures together. Jimmy’s cancer is now in remission and his new pup, Molly, will be making her first doctor’s visit at Banfield this Saturday.