Some kids wish for trips to Disneyland or a chance to meet their sporting heroes, but all Justin Ernst wanted was a dog.
Since the 11-year-old Ottawa resident was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, in 2007, Justin wanted a pet to replace the family cat that had passed away.
Unfortunately, his immune system was too weak for a new pet while he underwent seven months of intensive chemotherapy treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
That treatment, Justin said, made it hurt to walk in the beginning but after the first few rounds of sessions of chemotherapy he “kind of got used to it.”
Next week — nearly a year and a half after his last treatment, Muffie, a rescued dog from Calgary will be arriving in Ottawa — thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Justin’s wish also represented the 15,000th wish granted by the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada for children with high-risk life-threatening illnesses across the country since it started 25 years ago.
“While this is certainly an achievement, we are only able to accomplish this milestone because of the amazing support we continue to receive from individual and corporate donors, as well as thousands of volunteers,” said Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada national executive director Chris Kotsopoulos.
“The dog will be some good for him,” said his mother, Patricia. “The tumour was on his pelvic bone.
After chemotherapy and the radiation, the muscles and the bone have been weakened so the exercise will help keep him strong.”