Child Cancer Patient Keeps Hope Alive Watching Dogs Play And Gets His Wish of Having One Of His Own


There are few things more courageous than a child undergoing chemotherapy and surgery for life threatening cancer and handling it like an absolute champ. Johnny Martin is only 13 years old but has already combatted a rare form of cancer that required a year and a half of chemotherapy five days a week and a harrowing surgery that required a team of surgeons and 26 hours to complete.

Johnny’s mother, Michelle Boyer told WGN 9 Chicago“I wouldn’t wish that kind of surgery on anyone. We were scared he might not pull through.” Johnny did pull through. One of the things that helped him keep hope alive and persevere was the promise of a very special gift at the conclusion of treatment.

Image Screenshot WGN TV Chicago

He Loved to Watch Dogs Play from His Hospital Room Window

After Johnny’s chemo sessions, as soon as he felt strong enough Johnny would walk over to the window that overlooked a dog park. He loved to watch the dogs play with each other and go about their day. It brought joy and comfort to his heart during a long and challenging treatment regiment. Over time, he began fantasizing about having a dog of his own. He would talk to the doctors and nurses and his family about what kind of dog he’d want to have. His wish? A Corgi puppy.

Jessica King is a Social Worker at Lurie Children’s Hospital where Johnny received his care. She told WGN 9 Chicago, “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.”

Image Screenshot WGN TV Chicago

Little Wish Foundation Makes Puppy Dreams Come True

Liz Niemiec is the founder of Little Wish Foundation. She started the nonprofit when she was just 16 years old in honor of her friend Max who succumb to kidney cancer. His dying wish was to have a puppy. Liz remembers how much joy the puppy brought to Max’s last days. It inspired her to bring that comfort and joy to others who have struggled with medical conditions. She and her nonprofit have been gifting puppies and other ‘little wishes’ to deserving patients ever since.


Image Screenshot WGN TV Chicago
Image Screenshot WGN TV Chicago

Johnny’s Big Surprise

Johnny had no idea when he left the hospital that there would be a black and white Corgi puppy waiting to go home with him just near the dog park that he loved to watch. Liz and her team were standing at the ready to fulfill Johnny’s little wish for a lifetime of love and devotion. It was, of course, absolute love at first sight.

Featured Image Screenshot WGN TV Chicago

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