Childhood cancer is a sad reality. It’s amazing how even the youngest boys and girls show so much strength and courage when it comes to fighting this disease in its many forms.
With constant visits to the doctor or hospital and multiple rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, or other treatments, the battle can be more than exhausting.
Thankfully, there are ways to soften the blow and many families have discovered the benefits of therapy animals.
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, animal-assisted therapy “has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and energy levels, and decrease perceived pain and anxiety. It may also provide a sense of companionship that combats feelings of isolation.”
One little girl from Burlington, North Carolina, knows the value of a therapy pet. Eight-year-old Dakaia “Kaia” Gray suffers from terminal brain cancer and was given her dog, Annabella May, for comfort.
Unfortunately, Burlington Police Department reported the 11-week-old American Bully puppy was stolen from the Gray home on Aug. 4.
“This puppy was purchased and being trained as a companion dog for [an 8-year-old] girl who is terminally ill,” the department’s Facebook post said.
A GoFundMe campaign was started for Kaia shortly thereafter. Thomas Holmes is the good Samaritan behind the campaign asking for help with the little girl’s medical bills.
Holmes even went a step further and donated a new puppy to Kaia. According to a Facebook post by WGHP-TV anchor Chad Tucker, the new puppy has been named “Bailey.”
Holmes isn’t the only one reaching out to Kaia and her family. The entire community has rallied around this little girl.
On August 12, Tucker posted a photo of three Burlington police officers mowing the lawn and pressure washing the family’s home.
On September 3, WFMY reported a 3-day fundraiser for her sponsored by Shamrock Nutrition in Graham, North Carolina.
The specialty shop invited people to come out and visit with Kaia. They also asked people to donate online or via the tip jar at the counter.
What an amazing community! From a stranger donating a new puppy to police officers giving up their free time, I’d say this family has the support of their state behind them.
If you’d like to help Kaia and her family, visit her GoFundMe page. They still have a long way until they reach their goal, and every bit helps.
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