13-year-old Johnny Martin’s love for dogs first started while the teenager was undergoing strenuous chemotherapy treatment for soft cell cancer.
Fox Denver reports that the teen spent nearly every weekday at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago receiving his treatment for cancer.
The rare form of cancer has been taking its toll on Johnny. Besides receiving chemotherapy, Johnny also had to undergo surgery in order to completely remove the cancer that was growing in his chest. The operating team took reportedly 26 hours to finish!
Johnny’s mother, Michelle Boyer, said to the news outlet, “I wouldn’t wish that kind of surgery on anyone. We were scared he might not pull through.”
Through all the turbulent chemotherapy sessions, Johnny did have one bit of solace in which he took comfort: a window view of a dog park. He often shared his aspiration of one day having his very own “dream corgi dog.”
“It was all he wanted to talk about, so we knew we needed to get in touch with an organization that could fulfill that wish for him,” A social worker at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Jessica King, shared with Fox Denver.
In order to make Johnny’s dream a reality, the hospital reached out to Little Wish Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to brining kids joy and happiness despite their cancer battles.
Thanks to Little Wish, as well as the group’s founder, Liz Niemiec, Johnny received his very own black-and-white corgi as he was leaving the hospital with his family.
Johnny was surprised but thrilled to be getting the new corgi pup, who immediately gave him several big licks.
Liz Niemic said to Fox Denver that she had previously witnessed how someone’s life changed after receiving a puppy…just like Johnny.
“I was 16 years old when I started Little Wish Foundation, and it was in memory of my friend Max, who battled kidney cancer. Before Max passed away his last wish was to get a puppy. I never forgot what a big difference and impact it made on his life,” she said.
Johnny is still undergoing chemotherapy. However, as per Fox Denver, the teenager said that as of about a month ago, he is completely cancer free – and now has his very own puppy to celebrate with. We wish these two a very long and happy life together.