Many people love their dogs like their own children. They’ll do anything for their beloved pets, even prioritizing their happiness above their own.
That was the case for one man, whose only wish was to see his dog get a wheelchair, even while battling his own terminal illness.
Andrew Kuzyk, from Atlanta, Georgia, was dealt a rough hand in life: in recent years he has battled stage four brain cancer, melanoma, kidney cancer and a bone tumor in his leg.
“We lost our home in Arizona and had to sell pretty much everything,” Kuzyk told 11Alive. “We had to pay for all the drugs and stuff.”
Despite the hardships, Kuzyk has had a loyal friend by his side: his Chihuahua puppy, Champ.
Like Kuzyk, Champ has faced his own medical challenges: he was born without front paws. Kuzyk and his wife Pamela Andersen adopted the differently-abled pup when no one else would, and ever since they’ve been kindred spirits, helping each other get through the darkest times.
“There’s something about when he’s in my lap and when I’m cuddling up to him, it’s just like a divine feeling,” Kuzyk said. “Like he was meant to be with me. I guess because I’m a broken soul, and he’s a broken soul.”
Despite having no front paws, Champ has never let anything hold him back, inspiring Kuzyk to keep fighting himself. “He makes me feel good,” Kuzyk told East Valley Tribune. “He operates his life like he has no disability.”
Champ has been a comfort for him while he has undergone chemotherapy, and brings joy to everyone they meet: “If the nurses know that we’re coming, they gather in the hallway and wait for Champ!” Kuzyk told FOX 10.
Sadly, chemo and radiation have stopped working for Kuzyk, and he is now facing the end: doctors estimate he has about a year to live.
But in the face of death, Kuzyk has been determined to fulfill one final goal… not for himself, but for his beloved dog.
His mission is to get Champ a wheelchair. Kuzyk and his wife have been trying to raise the money, concerned about the disabled pup’s wellbeing.
“His back is bowing so bad. I don’t want him to stay that way or get broken. We’re very careful with him,” said Andersen.
The doggie wheelchair was set to cost several hundred dollars, no small purchase for a couple that has faced steep medical bills.
But thankfully, after the story went viral, one company stepped up to foot the bill.
According to 11Alive, pet retailer Chewy purchased Champ’s wheelchair as part of their Chewy Gives Back campaign, along with other supplies.
“We know that you’ve been working so hard to secure the necessary funds to purchase a wheelchair for Champ, and we wanted to take that burden away from you,” a representative says in a video. “We’ll be giving you a front-support wheelchair, toys, treats and some other goodies for Champ.”
His selfless dream finally achieved, Kuzyk is now facing his final months with a peaceful mindset, knowing he has his beloved dog by his side.
“I don’t know what my mindset would be … if I didn’t have Champ,” he told 11Alive. “He doubles the love that I give to him. It just helps give me the same confidence that I can overcome pretty much anything that life throws at me.”
“I’m the luckiest man in the world,” he said. “As little as we have, you can still be happy and life isn’t about material things. I’m ready to go when the lord thinks it’s the right time.”
What a caring, thoughtful man — even when dying of cancer, he could only think about his little dog 😢❤️
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