By Bryan Boggiano
Make-A-Wish Foundation Southern Florida granted a wish for a six-year-old Tamarac girl going through chemotherapy to help treat leukemia.
Orianna Velez dreamed of having her own dog to take care of and take on walks. The foundation granted that wish, giving her a miniature schnauzer puppy whom she will name “Fluffy.”
“Like, I love her like a lot, but I think I love her like a trillion,” said Orianna. “She’s cute, and she has beautiful eyes, and I love that she’s soft and she’s cute when she goes to sleep.”
Karen Llorente, Orianna’s mother, said that her daughter always wanted a pet and counted down the days to giving Fluffy her “furever” home. She was emotional about her daughter’s dream coming true.
“We’re very thankful for Make-A-Wish,” Karen said, originally in Spanish. “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.”
Allanys Velez, Orianna’s sister, thinks Fluffy will not only help her younger sister but also be a much-welcomed addition to their family.
“I think we’ve all been waiting for Fluffy for a very long time, and we’re all super excited for her, said Allanys. “With the pandemic and just everything going on right now, I feel like she’s going to bring a lot of happiness to our home.”
Allanys added, “I want to say thank you to Make-A-Wish for making this dream come true. I know my sister is super hyped…I feel like we’re all super excited for what’s to come with our new pet.”
Make-A-Wish Southern Florida has granted 13,000 wishes since 1983 to children with serious illnesses. The Southern Florida region includes 22 counties in southeastern, southwestern, and west-central Florida.
“The wishes we grant aren’t just nice; they’re necessary,” said Norman Wedderburn, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida president, and CEO. “Research shows the anticipation of a wish and the memories made during them can have a positive and significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the children, families, and extended networks we reach.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.