Make-A-Wish gifts puppy to Tamarac girl battling leukemia

TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - A brave Tamarac girl who is battling leukemia was surprised with a special puppy pal, thanks to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

Six-year-old Orianna Velez had asked for a miniature schnauzer puppy to be her furry companion. On Sunday, her wish came true.

Cameras captured the girl with her new pet. Her first reaction?

“So cute!” she said as she pet the cuddly arrival.

“I love her, like, a lot, but I think I love her like a trillion,” she added.

Velez was diagnosed with leukemia and has been struggling with treatment for the disease.

Speaking through a translator, her mother said she is grateful for this special moment.

“Orianna counted the days. Today she woke up and said, ‘Mom, today’s the day.’ We’re very thankful for Make-A-Wish,” she said, “and we’re thankful for all the people that help and collaborate for kids to have dreams, dreams that you guys make a reality. I’m very thankful for everything you’ve done, for all the time and dedication.”

Velez’s sister, Allanys, said she is sure the new pup will be a blessing for everyone, no just her younger sibling.

“We’re all super excited for her, and I know that she’s going to bring a lot of happiness,” she said, “since, with the pandemic and just everything going on right now, I feel like that she’s going to bring a lot of happiness to our home.”

Velez said she is excited to play and go on walks with her new “fur-ever” friend. She added that she’s ready for the new responsibility of balancing school, work and caring for the puppy.

“Because I have to take care of it a lot, and I have school. I still have to finish school and take care of it,” she said. “Thank you, Make A Wish, for my puppy.”

Velez and her family have settled on a name for the schnauzer: Fluffy.

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