‘Photo Doggies for Anthony’: Strangers share pet pictures to cheer up teen with cancer

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PHOENIX (PIX11) — A woman’s gesture to cheer up her friend’s son battling cancer has gone viral on Facebook in the form of animal photos.

“Hi all, my friend Kristen Lyons has her son Anthony at Phoenix Childrens Hospital,” the post starts out. “They make him smile. I thought if I create this event, you can post a picture of your dog to help make him smile. His mom shows them to him and he smiles.

The event, “Photo Doggies for Anthony,” was started by Ro Joe with a simple message: post dog pictures.

Within days, thousands of people from around the world began posting pictures of their pets with well-wishes to 16-year-old Anthony.

Anthony is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

I also want to thank each and every one of you for sending your doggie and occasional kitty pictures,” Anthony’s mom Kristen Lyons wrote. “We have laughed ohhhed and ahhed at every single photo and video so far it has really been a Joy and I appreciate everyone sharing their pets with us and the personal messages to Anthony are truly awesome.”

As of Jan. 4, over 303,000 people are “attending” the event.

The family has updated the page with Anthony’s condition and their thanks for everyone participating.

“I cannot express the joy we have gotten from these photos. We have looked at each and every photo and video and we laugh and sometimes cry just from the outpouring of support,” said Lyons. “I will never be able to thank you all enough and all of you are the amazing people that have your best friend pets by your side day in and day out. We are so incredibly thankful for you sharing and loving your pets as much as we love ours. Thank you thank you thank you.”

On Jan. 2., Anthony went back to the hospital for more chemotherapy and will be there for a week.

To submit a photo for Anthony, visit the Facebook event Photo Doggies for Anthony.

The event ends Jan. 11.