Strangers Share More Than 500,000 Dog Photos on Facebook to Cheer Up Teen Cancer Patient

Here’s a heartwarming case of photos being used to make a difference in someone’s life: hundreds of thousands of people around the world are currently sharing their dog photographs to cheer up a teenager who’s battling cancer.

16-year-old Anthony Lyons has been paying regular visits to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona as he undergoes chemotherapy for leukemia. As a dog lover who is unable to see his three dogs during his stays, one of his favorite things at the hospital is being with the therapy dogs that visit the patients.

Lyons’ family wanted to cheer him up on days in which the therapy dogs don’t show up, so they decided to turn to the Internet for help. Family friend Roberta Lucero-Koron helped set up a Facebook event page titled, “Photo Doggies for Anthony,” and that’s when things started going crazy.

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As people around the world started sharing their dog photos on the page, news outlets started reporting on the story. As the story showed up more and more in the news, the photos started pouring in even faster.

Within the span of about a week, over 1.2 million people from around the world have joined the event, sharing well over 500,000 photographs of their dogs. Photos show dogs of all breeds living in places ranging from Hong Kong to Dubai and everywhere in between. Lyons has also been showcasing some of his favorite dog photos through an Instagram account.

“I cannot express the joy we have gotten from these photos,” Roberta Lucero-Koron writes. “We have looked at each and every photo and video and we laugh and sometimes cry just from the outpouring of support.”

Head on over to the Facebook event page if you’d like to browse through the photos yourself or if you’d like to upload a photo of your own dog to put a smile on Lyons’ face.

Photo Doggies for Anthony [Facebook via USA TODAY]

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