WHITESTOWN, Ind.-- It was a hot July evening at the Hickory Polo Club in Whitestown, but the heat didn’t stop hundreds of Hoosiers from turning out to show their support and take part in a surprise for one special kid.
Eli Yanez lives with Central Nervous System Germinoma, a growth of germ cell tumors in his nervous system. He’s in remission right now thanks to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
While he was in the hospital, Eli got to know the therapy dogs who visited to give kids a break from their treatments.
“There were times a therapy dog would come to the hospital and visit some of the kids that were going through some of things that I was going through. And it kind of made me want to do what they were doing because it brought so much joy to me. I wanted to bring the joy to all the kids,” said Eli.
Eli is a Make-A-Wish kid, and his wish was for his own therapy dog.
He and his family were attending the polo match because it’s a fundraiser for the organization. What Eli didn’t know was that his wish was about to come true.
Eli was introduced to Zora, a German Shepard, the type of dog Eli had wished for.
Make-A-Wish not only raised the money to buy Zora, but also took care of the food and training that Eli’s family needs to make their new therapy dog a part of the family.
“Supplies, everything we need to take care of her. That is something I could have never done on my own, so it means a lot,” said JJ McKinley, Eli’s mom.