How 1,000,000 Photos of Dogs Are Helping a Young Cancer Patient

The Internet is a marvelous thing. Its community can do anything with the proper motivation. Anthony Lyons’s story is an excellent testimonial to that. Lyons is a cancer patient who loves dogs. However, he can only see a therapy dog once a day and that wasn’t enough to cheer him up. That’s when the good people of the Internet stepped in:

It all started as a harmless Facebook event—Photo Doggies for Anthony—set up by a friend of Lyons’s mom:

Hi all, my friend Kristen Lyons has her son Anthony at Phoenix Childrens hospital. Some days he gets doggy visits and some he does not. They make him smile. I thought if I create this event, you can post a picture of your dog to help make him smile. His mom shows them to him and he smiles.

Nobody anticipated that it would get so viral. At the time of writing this article, the event has 1.6 million people attending (I’m guessing that everybody posted at least one picture).

Anthony Lyons

Lyons was diagnosed about six months ago, and since then he has been undergoing chemotherapy, which as he describes is a horrible gross poison that runs through a one inch needle in his chest. He says that depression is the biggest issue for him right now, and dogs are the only thing that keep him going.

And now, the once a day visit from therapeutic dog is followed by thousands and thousands of pictures from people who care.

therapeutic dog for Anthony

“I really appreciate the fact that they don’t even know me. I really appreciate that. It shows that people still care even if they don’t even know you.”

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