PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland girl got a big surprise Friday when her wish for a puppy came true, thanks to Make-A-Wish Oregon.
The nonprofit worked with PetSmart and PuppySpot to provide 9-year-old Mia with 12-week-old Rocky, a Boston Terrier.
“She's been talking about this puppy for the last two years, she's always wanted one,” said Mia’s mother, Rolunda Fulmer. “To see her dream come true today was amazing.”
Mia was thrilled.
“He’s so cute!” She exclaimed, holding Rocky for the first time.
To understand Mia’s smile, it helps to understand her “brave face.” Mia has sickle cell anemia, which means frequent hospital visits. Three of Mia’s four siblings also live with sickle cell anemia.
“It's not something that's easy to watch,” said Patricia Vrooman, Mia’s nurse practitioner at Randall Children’s Hospital. “In a ‘sickle crisis,’ she’s in very intense pain.”
Vrooman connected Make-A-Wish with PuppySpot, where her brother, Josh Kreinberg, is chief administrative officer.
“Our whole mission is to place healthy puppies into happy homes,” said Kreinberg.
For Kreinberg and Vrooman, this mission was deeply personal. Their sister Sarah is still living with a brain tumor and was one of Make-A-Wish Oregon's very first make a “Wish Kids.” Thirty years ago, Make-A-Wish flew Kreinberg’s entire family to Hawaii.
“So for about 30 years, I've been looking for an opportunity to give back, to do something for [Make-A-Wish],” said Kreinberg.
‘Rocky’ seemed to be the perfect answer. PetSmart donated Rocky’s food and supplies and Banfield Pet Hospital donated a year of preventative veterinary care.
“This is just over the top amazing,” said Fulmer.
Rocky won't take away Mia's pain, but he'll help her get through it as only the Boston Terrier's kindred spirit could.
“The neat thing I just learned today is this puppy is cold a lot like Mia,” said Fulmer. “One of the side effects of her disease is she's always cold.”
Mia and Rocky will keep each other warm now, and the hearts of everyone around them.