Woman Battling Cancer Needs New Service Dog

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Someone is missing beside Janie Young's chair. Last week, after eight years together, her service Golden Retriever, Zuma, was put down after her lymphoma returned.

But Zuma was not the only one fighting for her life. Young, who was born with cerebral palsy, is fighting breast cancer herself and found out just one day after Zuma's caner returned.

"I wasn't pretty. It was definitely a shock," said Young.

Zuma helped Young in many ways, such as opening and closing doors with a rope, hitting light switches, pressing elevator buttons, and picking up dropped items to name a few.

"She would totally get me undressed at night when I get off of work, which meant a whole lot because I can be more independent. I don't have to have help come in," said Young.

She says she believes Zuma held on long enough to help her get through a single mastectomy and some other procedures, but now as the moves towards chemotherapy without Zuma, her friends are looking for ways to help Young keep her independence and her spirits.

"What could we do to bring awareness? What could we do to get her story out there? Zuma was such a big part of her life, such a big help to her and to not have Zuma or someone like her is a real hindrance to Janie," said Ali Cato, a friend and co-worker.

Cato and others have launched a GoFundMe page. The site helps people and groups use the internet for fundraising. They are hoping to raise $10,000 to help Young get new service dog.

Bring paired with a service dog can be a long process at times, working through different organizations. One local group says it can take anywhere from one month--and in rare cases, several years--to complete the application, training and matching process.

Young's friend are hoping to skip that by raising the money needed to get a new dog on their own, and knowing her friends are willing to go to such lengths for her helps Young keep her attitude of there is nothing she cannot do.

"Perfect, it's a great feeling," said Young.

You can find the GoFundMe Page for Janie Young at www.GoFundMe.com/DogforJanie.


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