Emotional reunion for Beaumont therapy dog, mom who lost son to cancer

A boy who was undergoing treatment for cancer formed a special bond with a companion who provided unconditional love and support. Now, that same faithful sidekick, is providing comfort his mother after the young boy lost his fight to cancer.

At Beaumont in Royal Oak, Kori Orlowski and Olive, her son's therapy dog, have an emotional reunion. The therapy dog was faithfully by Deacon's side every day he arrived for his cancer treatments - so when Kori arrived, Olive was looking for her buddy. After all, it was just after Olive had finished volunteering in the therapy dog program that she first met Deacon.

"As they went to leave, because they were finished with their day, Deacon said 'I’ll see you tomorrow' and she said 'yep' even though she wasn’t scheduled for that day and she showed up for the next two months every single day for us," Kori said.

"We made sure we showed up that day and every day since and that build a really strong connection," Cindy Collon, Olive's handler, said.

That connection brought peace and comfort to Deacon as he and his mom traveled for nearly two hours from Midland to Beaumont for cancer treatments. When Deacon arrived, Cindy, and Olive greeted him.

"Olive would just cuddle with him that comfort that he needed," Kori said.

Cindy works with Olive to serve as a therapy dog and she understands that this delivers something medicine often cannot.

"Therapy dogs are there just to love you, so there’s no bad news, there’s no pokes, there’s no treatment involved. They’re just there to make you smile," she said.

Olive would often extend her paw as Decon received treatment. A move that she would now have to do with Deacon's mom as they embrace for the first time since Deacon lost his battle from cancer in January at the age of 15.

"For quite some time we would come in the same way and she would sniff every corner and look for him and it was heartbreaking," Cindy said.

"As difficult as it is to have him not with us he suffered a lot in the end and we’re glad he’s no longer suffering and is in full relief," Kori said.

Knowing that Deacon had that friendship with Olive brings Kori some comfort.

April 30th is National Therapy Animal Day a time to recognize the comfort an animal like Olive can bring to people in need

"I don’t think people quite understand what happiness, love, do - can do to a hurting heart and a hurting body," Kori said.

"She really made a difference for somebody and that makes me really excited to come here every day," Cindy said.