Call for online pet therapy goes viral to help Valley teen battling cancer

A valley teenager courageously fighting cancer spends his days undergoing chemotherapy at Phoenix Children's Hospital, so a family friend turned to Facebook asking for pictures of dogs. The page has gone viral with posts from all over the world.

"When I'm in the hospital bed all day my mom goes through all the pictures, she sees them all," says Anthony Lyons. "She'll show me them all, doesn't matter, but the special ones are the funniest ones."

Last summer, 16-year-old Anthony Lyons was on vacation with his grandparents in Oregon when he became extremely sick. Doctors diagnosed him with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and had to begin treatment quickly.

"The first day I come in they have a bag of chemo that's this big and this wide they have two of them and they have it running for 24 hours," Lyons said.

Spending days in the hospital began to weigh Lyons down--that is until therapy dogs started to visit his room!

"It really helps, the pet therapy," says Lyons. "Like I can be in here having a really bad day and then one of the dogs will show up and it will be the highlight of the day."

Seeing how happy Lyons became with the dog visits, a family friend decided to create a Facebook page for people to post pictures of their dogs to show Lyons on the days when he didn't have his pet visitors.

The response has been overwhelming. "Photo Doggies for Anthony" has close to 300,000 posts from across the country and the world, including England and even troops stationed in Afghanistan.

"We've loved every second of it and we're so thankful to her and everyone else all over the country and world that has come and posted pictures to just brighten his days."
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