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How a Service Dog Helped a Texas Mom Defeat Breast Cancer

Blandina never imagined that a night dancing in Amarillo would be her last. Driving home in the early hours of the morning, the music still fresh in her mind, she experienced a tragedy most see only in the movies. A tornado swept her car up then slammed it to the ground, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

For the next 18 years, Blandina stayed positive and focused on raising her three daughters. She supported her family on her own with her bookkeeping business. Her three daughters, now grown up and living on their own, noticed how much their mom was struggling when they visited. Everyone agreed that Blandina could benefit from the help of a Service Dog. She applied to SDI who matched her with Chief.

As soon as she took Chief’s leash, Blandina’s struggles with everyday tasks disappeared. Chief helped her to open doors, take clothes out of the dryer, and pick up dropped items. He brought a new light into her world, giving her the drive and confidence to go to the movies, venture out to eat, or see friends without any fear of being on her own.

Tragedy Strikes Again

A few years later, another life-altering tragedy struck. Doctors diagnosed Blandina with Stage 3 breast cancer. Chief stayed by her side throughout treatment. After witnessing the support he provided to Blandina, doctors prescribed that Chief must accompany her to all treatments, plus any ambulance rides.

A Happy Ending

After fighting for two years, Blandina ****achieved a ****cancer-free diagnosis. After her final treatment, the medical staff at Harrington Cancer Center presented her with a Certificate of Achievement and a daffodil as a symbol of hope. Thanks to the important role he played in her journey to recovery, Chief also received a certificate of his very own.

Through his unwavering love, Chief did more than transform Blandina’s life; he saved it.

The days before Chief arrived all but faded from Blandina’s memory. At a school presentation, when a 4th grader asked, “How long will you be allowed to keep Chief?” Blandina felt overwhelmed with gratitude. “Forever,” she replied.

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