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Mother reunites with Beaumont therapy dog that comforted late son during cancer battle

Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 16:06:13-04

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — It was an emotional reunion at Beaumont Hospital between a therapy dog and the mother of his best friend - a young man who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

They met when Cindy Collon and her therapy dog Olive were leaving the hospital after volunteering. It was then that 12-year-old Deacon Orlowski ran up and introduced himself to both Cindy and Olive. He also told them that he would be driving down from Midland every day for treatment for Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue and most often affects children.

He also said they would see them the next day. Cindy told Deacon he would, even though she wasn't scheduled to be there. They came anyway and over the next three years, Olive was by Deacon's side whenever he was in treatment. Most days, they would be waiting at the door of the hospital for them

They were even there when Deacon and his family learned his cancer had metastasized. He lost his battle on January 15.

Beaumont, Cindy and Deacon's mom are sharing their story to highlight the importance of therapy dogs. According to Beaumont, right now, there are more than 55 teams of therapy dogs and their handlers who visit with patients across the health system. All dogs must go through training and take a test to get certified, while their human friends must go through the process to become Beaumont volunteer.

You can apply to be a volunteer at https://volunteer.beaumont.org/custom/1545/volunteer_home.