The Seth Harris Childhood Cancer Foundation is doing something different, new but extremely fulfilling for the month of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. I received a phone call one day back a few months ago from a friend, RH Stockman, asking if there was a cancer patient that was in need of a service dog? Actually a puppy that would be trained to be a service dog. It was a strange question for me, for the foundation but I said I would think on it and that I was sure I could think of a child. It didn’t take long, a child came to mind, I sent his Mom a message, she told me they had scans the very next morning and give them time to get the results and let them think on it and she would get back with me.
So as I prayed for this young man (he needed the prayers, he had been dealt some very hard obstacles the past year) I didn’t even consider any other child during this time. Within just a few hours of them hearing the news that their son was in fact cancer free, Josh’s Mom contacted us letting us know that they had in fact been looking and researching for over a year for a service dog for Josh but simply could not afford it. So yes they definitely wanted the dog for Josh. More than wanted it, they were ecstatic. Actually I remember R H’s words exactly, he said “he thought he actually got some of moms tears on him through the phone” 😢 To me that says it all.
So the foundation is raising the funds needed to train “Winter”. Oh yes meet “Winter” seen here with Josh Sexton. Yes he has already picked out his puppy and is forming the bond that is very important right from the start for service dogs and their partners. The training comes in a few weeks. “Winter” will be trained by Southern State Canine, who is generously cutting the normal cost of training drastically because of our cause 🎗 ...we cannot thank them enough.
Josh is 10 years old and from Florence, MS. He loves MSU bulldogs, football, soccer and his family. Josh was diagnosed in September 2016 with osteosarcoma. Josh’s original tumor was in his right arm, he had fore quarter amputation (right arm amputation) and he remained cancer free for a year. During his one year follow up scan, they found cancer in his right leg. He had partial tibia limb salvage and partial fibula removal (tumor removal). Also during Josh’s Cancer journey, he has endured 4 ports being placed and removed due to infections, numerous biopsies and countless other procedures. Children should not know this type of pain and suffering.
Josh is back in school and doing great. He is in a wheelchair full time but hopes to be walking with the assistance of a cane one day. With Winter by his side, who knows what Josh can accomplish?
The shccf is putting up $1,000 of the $8,000 needed to train Josh’s dog and the remainder is being raised through social media. If you would like to donate to this cause you can mail a check to the SHCCF at P.O. Box 1286, Bay Springs, MS 39422 or via PayPal at email@example.com. Thank those who have donated and those who will donate. And thank you RH Stockman and Bubba Howell for giving hope to a young boy who has already lost so much....you’re giving him so much more than just a dog or just a trained dog, you’re giving him possibilities, confidence and a best friend for life! -Dawn Harris