'Doggies for Anthony' Brings Joy to Teen With Cancer
byKaitlin StanfordJan 07, 2015
Chances are, you've probably noticed a friend or two joining a Facebook event this week called Photo Doggies for Anthony. That's because the newly formed event has swiftly gone viral in the last week for its truly touching mission: to have others share photos of their adorable dogs, just to lift the spirits of one very special 16-year-old — Anthony Lyons.
For the last six months, the Phoenix teen has traveled for one day each month to the Phoenix Children's Hospital, where he bravely undergoes treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The dog-loving teen can't do too much while he's getting treatment, but getting regular visits from therapy dogs has been keeping his spirits high. And that's exactly what led two family friends, Roberta Lucero-Koron and Ro Joe, to create the Facebook event, calling on friends, family and even strangers to post a few photos of their beloved pooch.
What started as a sweet pick-me-up soon became much, much more. To date, the event has 1.2 million attendees, and has pulled in thousands of photos — one more adorable than the next.
"I'm normally really depressed; I'm not talking," Anthony told 9 News of the days he sits alone and undergoes chemo. "I'll sit in here for an entire day and won't say anything, because I just want to go home."
But the photos, he says, as well as the supportive messages from well-wishers all over the world, is what's been keeping him going.
"I really appreciate the fact that ... they don't even know me," says Anthony. "It shows that people still care, even though they don't know you."