Make-A-Wish Helps Teen Cope With COVID-19 Anxiety

COVID-19 has forced the Bay Area office of the Make-A-Wish foundation, which grants wishes to ailing children, to postpone most of their work. The foundation says nearly 90% of its wishes are currently on hold.

But one 16-year-old in San Jose was still able to have her wish come true, and she says its helping her cope with the stress of the ongoing international crisis.

Nico, a labradoodle, was delivered to Priscilla Aguirre on Monday. 

“I have a respiratory illness, cystic fibrosis,” she says. “And I feel like having Nico, my little puppy by my side has been helping me a lot.”

Aguirre also suffers from anxiety and before she met Nico, she had two bouts of anxiety just last week. 

“When I lay on my bed or sit on my bed he’s by my side. When I go to the kitchen he follows me and that just gives me so much comfort,” she says. “Labradoodles are really smart and I feel like he really knows what I’m going through.”

Her mother Lorena Aguirre says the difference is already clear. “She cuddles with the dog and it gives her that comfort. So I know in the long run she’s going to get so much help through the dog.”

The Sunnyvale Veterinary Clinic has donated six months of care to Nico to make sure he can continue to look after Aguirre.