TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A puppy often makes kids’ Christmas and birthday wish lists. It topped the list of 4-year-old Andrew Coulton, too. But the Bradenton boy wasn’t asking Santa to make his dream come true. He asked Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, and that wish was granted in the form of a wriggly three-month-old mini Goldendoodle.
The surprise delivery was met first with a look of confusion from Andrew, followed quickly by gleeful giggles and a lot of tail wags.
As Andrew chases the little puppy in circles, or maybe the other way around, it’s hard to believe that the little boy recently finished chemotherapy to battle the cancerous tumor in his brain. The chemotherapy followed surgery, and months of hospitalization.
“He couldn’t move, hold his head up, walk, talk,” says Melanie Coulton, Andrew’s mother. “He was constantly connected to tubes.”
Melanie says Andrew loved pet therapy, and that, coupled with her son’s interest in “Paw Patrol,” led to his wish for a dog of his own.
Andrew’s made not one, but two, new friends on this day.
In a first for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, a child has made a wish come true. Kinsley Peacock, a six-year-old cancer survivor from North Venice, started her own nonprofit, Kinsley’s Cookie Cart, and set a goal to underwrite six wishes for critically ill kids like herself. Andrew’s wish was the first one granted by Kinsley.
“To see the joy and impact this has on the lives of Andrew and his family, it’s such a joy to see,” says Kinsley’s father, Adam Peacock.
Kinsley and Andrew are among the 12,000 wishes granted to critically ill children by Make-A-Wish Southern Florida since 1983.