1010 WINS-Courtney Gessford was diagnosed with a brain tumor three and a half years ago at the age of 24, but an incredible surprise put together by friends and family has allowed her to forget about cancer and focus on puppies — at least for a little while.
The 28-year-old from Sacramento, California has gone through numerous treatments including three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy and through it all found comfort in her family’s dog, Clyde.
Gessford and her friend Maris Loeffler decided in conversation one day that if Clyde can be such a helpful recovery tool, a whole pack of pups would have to work wonders. The idea was set in stone after the pair began sharing videos of others experiencing the joy of being covered head to toe with puppies.
After almost a year of planning, Loeffler reached out to breeders and shelters and was finally able to secure the Front Street Animal Shelter as the location for Gessford to receive her wish.
As the two women drove to a mystery location, Loeffler placed a blindfold and earphones on Gessford to keep the surprise a secret but as soon as they entered the shelter, she could smell the animals. Loeffler then led Gessford into a pillow-filled kiddie pool.
When the blindfold and earphones were removed, over a dozen of Gessford’s friends and family began placing puppy after puppy into the pool and all over her.
“I immediately broke down,” Gessford said. “I felt so overwhelmed and grateful all at the same time. I had only imagined something like this in my dreams and Maris made it a reality.”
-Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana