by Esther Adams
I have been following along with your journey through Two Flounders from a distance feeling so many emotions... from heartbreak for what you, John, and your family are enduring, guilt for drifting apart after college, and complete inspiration by your determination to live life fully each moment.
To give you a little background information, I volunteer with an organization called Pets for Patients. Pets for Patients gets referrals from doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital for children that have significant illnesses, most of whom have a cancer diagnosis. These patients are referred to Pets for Patients because their doctors/social workers have identified that they would really benefit from having a companion dog and the family is too overwhelmed to find the right dog for their lifestyle. Pets for Patients takes the time to meet with each patient/family, find out their lifestyle and needs, and then find the perfect rescue dog to become their family dog. They fully temperament test each dog, do obedience training, fully vet, and provide anything else that is needed. They also stay in touch long-term with each patient and family they place a dog with to ensure it continues to go well for both the family and the dog.
The most recent post on Two Flounders titled "A little thing about hope, and what you can do for Abi" made me reflect on how much love and comfort your dog Bindi has provided to both you and your family. And I thought what better way to pay it forward but to sponsor a Pets for Patients dog in your name?
I knew I could not be the only person from our amazing friend group at The Ohio State University and RPAC feeling this way so I decided to reach out with the idea, unsure of what the responses would be. The responses came flooding in -- all filled with love, warm memories, and support for our wonderful friend who continues to inspire us to Love, Dare, Live and Make. We may have moved near and far since college but no matter the distance the friendships we built sitting in those lifeguard chairs at Ohio State are lifelong and will endure all things life throws our way.
In just a matter of days we have raised $1,600 for Pets for Patients - enough to sponsor not one but THREE dog matches.
Because of you and Two Flounders three children who are going through similar journeys will have the opportunity to build an unbreakable bond with their very own Bindi.
One example of the impact the donations in your name will have is the story of Kayleigh and Hope. Kayleigh is a patient at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and received a dog from Pets for Patients that she named Hope. Kayleigh’s family is very open about her journey with leukemia and recently shared on her public facebook page,
“Kayleigh broke down this morning after trying to simply sit up in bed. She is stiff and in pain a lot of the time...as Kayleigh was done crying on my shoulder, Our dog HOPE snuggled up on her and started licking her all over. It instantly cheered Kayleigh up. This happens all the time, and it is amazing how an animal companion can be so beneficial to a child going through these tough times.”
Because of you three children will get to experience the unconditional love from a dog.
Abi, please know that you have an army of people thinking of you and your entire family. There are no words to describe and I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through but just know that you are not alone and that we will all continue to live life the way you inspire us to do.
How firm thy friendship,