When student Lily Bellamy was diagnosed with leukaemia, her parents knew they would do whatever it needed to support her. Yet they did not understand exactly how much of a helping paw they would get from their new puppy.
The family from Swansea had adopted black Labrador Beauty just two months previously, and the faithful pup has been right by Lily’s side from the start while she battled the cancer and through tough chemotherapy.
Parent Wayne said: “My wife Joanne and I can find it difficult at times to handle when Lily is on steroids since it’s so upsetting for her, but when Beauty walks into the room she can bring Lily back to her regular self.
“It has been a grueling 18 to 24 months, but we are getting there. No new leukaemia cells were identified on her previous scan.”
Lily, aged 11, said: “When I was unwell, I wasn’t allowed to visit any of my friends for 12 months, so she was my best buddy during my treatment. She always made me happy and put a smile on my face.
“I can’t picture life without her and I don’t know how I would have got through it all without her.
“While I was on medication that made me feel unhappy and furious, everytime she stepped in the room, she always made me happy and forget about the way I was feeling before.
Wayne added: “Beauty is the link that has brought us all together while we’ve gone through this incredibly difficult time as a family.
“Chemotherapy is difficult for anyone to go through but is even more difficult for a kid but as soon as Beauty walks into the room, Lily brightens up with smiles.”
Mother Joanne said: “It felt like she was supposed to come into our life. She surely came along at the right time. She’s been fantastic.”