It's amazing what positive energy can do to not only the human spirit, but also the human body. It's a fact that negativity hurts us, and positivity helps us overcome tremendous obstacles, so it's important that we reach out and ask for help in our times of need. Who better to ask for help from than man's best friend?
Dogs can bring a smile to just about anybody's face. This is especially true for children. There are tons of stories about dogs stepping up to comfort children in need. From literally saving their lives, to simply being there to share snuggles, dogs definitely know how to be there for children in need.
More than 100,000 dogs recently stepped up to offer comfort to a little girl in one of the most unexpected ways. These dogs wrote heartfelt messages to a 7-year-old girl who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. Read on to find out how these dogs did it without having any thumbs.
Emma Mertens is a sweet seven-year-old girl who back was diagnosed back in January with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an aggressive and very rare type of brain tumor. Emma is extremely brave and resilient, even in the face of her horrible condition, but a family friend thought it would be a good idea to call upon the power of dogs to make Emma feel better.
On social media she asks people to send her pictures of dogs with accompanying letters to raise her spirits. Since then, hundreds of thousands of letters and pictures have come in the mail for Emma. Emma's father, Geoff Mertens, describes it all as overwhelming. "Without us even knowing, a friend of ours had about a dozen friends send in pictures, and at some point it just took off. I have no idea who made that post, [but it's] been shared over and over."
The amount of letters the Mertends family has received has been so great that they have had to set up a separate email address and post office box to manage all the incoming letters. According to Geoff Mertens, they receive about 2,800 email an hour and truck loads of physical mail. "I've stopped counting, but we were at 20 different countries at one point and every state. We've gotten pictures from Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Italy, Russia - and actually a lot from Scotland and the Netherlands for some reason."
A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the medical expenses, and thus far it has received more than $108,000. One message from a pup named Paisley reads, "Hi Emma! My name is Paisley and I just turned 5! Here is a picture of me in this ridiculous hat my mom made me wear at my birthday party. I hope it brings a smile to your face! I'm thinking about you and wish we could have a cuddle. All the wet kisses, Paisley."
Another letter reads, "Hi Emma, [my name is Parker]. We live in Woodland, California. It's raining buckets here right now! Our Mom told us what a brave and feisty girl you are... and we appreciate those amazing qualities!! We are sending you oodles of kisses and hugs. Children are one of our favorite things and we think you are one in a million!!!!"
Emma has a second surgery scheduled to treat her DIPG, and her family is more optimistic than ever now that they have the support from the internet. If you're interested in sending your support, they've set up a Facebook Page as well where you can send in messages from your own dog. Geoff Martens adds, "If you knew Emma, she's the most kind, big-hearted girl. To see so many people take a few minutes out of their day to put a smile on her face is overwhelming."