When 8-year-old Mia Vane of Nevada was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, all she wanted was a dog to help her through it.
VIDEOS BY INSPIRE MORE
Therapy dogs are specially-trained animals who can help people with a wide range of issues, from anxiety to paraplegia. Unfortunately, all that careful breeding and extensive training isn’t cheap; guide and therapy dogs can cost up to $25,000.
Mia is an active child who loves soccer. When she started getting big bruises all over her body, her parents initially assumed it was because she was playing rough outside. But as she grew more and more unwell, spending time in and out of the hospital, they knew something worse was happening.
“I just started bruising after I was playing soccer,” Mia told GMA. “And they just started getting all purple and stuff.”
Mia was eventually diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder that damages bone marrow and causes the body to stop producing new blood cells to fight infections. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant, an incredibly high-risk procedure.
Since Mia is at a high level of risk for infections of any kind, she had to stay out of school and stop playing soccer. She was so sad that her aunt, Blake Brady, decided to appeal to 4E Kennels Healing Hearts program, a therapy dog training program that gives free service dogs to people who need them but can’t afford them.
Blake recorded a video to share Mia’s story, and her appeal hit the people at 4E Kennels Healing Hearts right where it counts. They quickly agreed to give Mia a dog!
Good Morning America was on the scene when 4E Kennels surprised the little girl with a 10-month-old goldendoodle named Dougie. Blake and Mia’s mom were in on the big secret, but Mia had no idea that her dream was about to come true.
The look on Mia’s face was priceless! We could practically feel the waves of joy coming off her, and after a brief training session, Dougie was ready to go home with his new family. He has been specially taught to apply therapeutic pressure to Mia’s body, and he’ll be tuned in to her needs 24/7.
Not only that, but Dougie will also enable Mia to safely get outside and play.
“It’s gonna let her be a kid again,” Blake said. “It’s gonna free her up to be a kid.”
Jeanette Forrey of 4E Kennels Healing Hearts couldn’t be happier about matching Dougie with Mia.
“What an incredible young girl defying the odds, but being knocked down again and again by something she cannot control,” she said. “To bring just a small amount of sunshine and comfort and companionship to help her through the darkest days and the brightest moments is incredibly exciting.”
Best gift ever! Dougie is going to make such a huge difference in this little girl’s life. We’re so happy that organizations like this one exist, and we thank them for helping so many people through difficult times.
Watch Mia’s priceless surprise in the video below, and share this story to spread the word.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.