Before Sarah learned she had Burkitt’s lymphoma, she lost her beloved cat and was missing him. While she was being treated in the hospital, a volunteer had brought their Yorkshire Terrier with them to visit the patients, and Sarah and the dog took to each other right away.
So when given the chance to make a wish, Sarah knew: “I want a Yorkie puppy!” she told her mom, Alesandra.
Sarah’s diagnosis and treatment were a whirlwind in many respects. In March, stomach pains that would come and go kept coming and getting stronger, until a CAT scan revealed the cause: a mass that was blocking her intestines. After having the mass removed, Sarah returned home, but within 30 minutes was back at the hospital. The pathologist had discovered a very aggressive form of lymphoma. After four months of chemotherapy that she described as being “like a tornado swirling through my body,” Sarah had her final treatment on July 4th.
The chemo had been harsh, but losing her hair had been devastating. She had hoped to be one of the few who don’t lose their hair during chemotherapy, but a kind nurse sat down with her, giving her a hug and a different perspective. She said that in her experience, those who hadn’t lost their hair had often gone through a longer treatment process, and that losing her hair was a sign that the chemo was working. This was a “tremendous help to her,” according to Sarah’s mom. And on the day of her very last treatment, Sarah’s mom asked her to look in the mirror. She had noticed that hair was beginning to grow on her head again!
When Sarah’s wish grantors arrived carrying her three pound wish, the puppy she has renamed Solace, they say that the dog “practically jumped out of my arms and into hers.” Solace, a Yorkshire Terrier puppy who will only grow to be about seven or eight pounds, now sleeps on Sarah’s neck every night. And as soon as she gets home from school, Solace comes running to her. “I love this. I love having someone who wants to be with me!” says Sarah with a smile on her face. What a fitting name for her constant companion.