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Healing Paws

By Hila Ronquillo-Daneshmand, HCWS Volunteer

We all know the rewards that adopting a companion animal can bring to a family…from unconditional love to the knowledge that you have saved a life. But in the case of Mary Lewis and her husband, Jerome Carl, hope was brought to their family when they adopted Rojo, a fiery red 6-year-old Chihuahua and Terrier mix from HCWS in 2007.

Jerome, who is a Vietnam Vet, was diagnosed with Non-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2004, a form of cancer where an excess of white blood cells are found in the lymph nodes, and doctors were not certain if this former soldier would be able to win this battle.

Though Mary’s husband was at first opposed to bringing a dog into their home, Rojo very quickly became a companion to Jerome during this painful time. Rojo’s care lifted Jerome’s spirits when he felt weak and hopeless.

Today, doctors are amazed and are wishing that all their patients were like Jerome, because during his regular checkups they are finding that the white blood cell counts are dramatically lowered, which shows that his body is trying to beat this disease. Since there is no direct cure yet for Non-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, this is close to a miracle. Mary and Jerome believe that the miracle might have come in the form of Rojo’s “healing paws.”

If you would like more information about Heaven Can Wait Animal Society or about adopting a dog or cat of your own, please visit the HCWS website.

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