Hundreds Show Up With Dogs To Make Make-A-Wish For 7-Year-Old Cancer Patient

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Tri Counties Make-A-Wish Foundation surprised a 7-year-old cancer patient with the canine party of her dreams, and on Friday afternoon — the community showed up.

Lily Dallow / KEYT

At 3 p.m., community members began lining up in Tucker’s Grove to parade their dogs for 7-year-old Aleksander’s puppy and pizza party.

At 5 p.m., the end of the parade line stretched out of sight from where Aleksander sat with his mother and friends, greeting each pup that showed up to see him.

Lily Dallow / KEYT

Aleksander has always been a very energetic and adventurous little boy. Prior to his diagnosis, Aleksander was healthy and full of life. He loved to go on adventures and enjoyed doing all sorts of fun activities with his mother Natalia and brother Phillip.

Aleksander was diagnosed with cancer in April 2020. The diagnosis completely changed their lives. Instead of planning school schedules and activities, Natalia made the decision to move Aleksander and Phillip to Texas for a promising treatment plan. Aleksander seemed to be thriving.

They stayed for several months and returned to SB in June 2021 as Aleksander showed no further evidence of cancer. The family believed that this difficult and trying chapter in their lives was over. Aleksander started home schooling through Santa Barbara Charter School and since he loves swimming he decided to join the water polo team.

In November 2021, Aleksander and his family received the heartbreaking news that the cancer had returned. Since then, Aleksander has received numerous chemotherapy treatments, but the tumors have continued to grow.

Unfortunately, Aleksander was placed in palliative care at the end of January 2022.

As soon as we heard about this story, we knew we had to step in to help. Our team learned that he loves puppies and pizza and so that’s what his special wish will be focused on. The Santa Barbara Fire Department will attend and support this little wish party to celebrate a very special wish child. And we hope that this wish will bring a moment of joy to this child and his family.

Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties

Aleksander and his mother, Make-A-Wish

This wishing party was anything but small.

Community members flocked to the park to celebrate Aleksander and his Puppy Day. Several participants estimated that the total number of participants ranged in the hundreds.

Lily Dallow / KEYT

To learn more about Tri Counties Make-A-Wish and how to donate, click here.

Lily Dallow / KEYT

Tune in to News Channel 3-12 tonight at 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. for more on this story.

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