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Viral Facebook campaign brings smile to teen battling cancer

A woman's small gesture to cheer up her friend's son battling cancer has gone viral.
A picture taken on December 30, 2014 shows a dog wearing a Santa Claus costume in Madrid.
A picture taken on December 30, 2014 shows a dog wearing a Santa Claus costume in Madrid.

Nothing says smile like a picture of a cute dog!

Roberta Lucero-Koron’s small gesture to cheer up her friend’s 16-year-old son battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia has gone viral.

“Hi all, my friend Kristen Lyons has her son Anthony at Phoenix Childrens hospital. Some days he gets doggy visits and some he does not,” Lucero Koron’s Facebook post reads. “They make him smile. I thought if I create this event, you can post a picture of your dog to help make him smile. His mom shows them to him and he smiles.”

Within days of creating “Photo Doggies for Anthony,” over 785,000 people are “attending” the event by posting pictures of their pets with special message for Anthony.

“I also want to thank each and every one of you for sending your doggie and occasional kitty pictures,” Kristen Lyons wrote on the Facebook page. “We have laughed ohhhed and ahhed at every single photo and video so far it has really been a Joy and I appreciate everyone sharing their pets with us and the personal messages to Anthony are truly awesome.”

Since the event went viral, the family is updating the page with Anthony’s condition and thanking all of the participants for their support.

“I cannot express the joy we have gotten from these photos. We have looked at each and every photo and video and we laugh and sometimes cry just from the outpouring of support,” Lyons wrote. “I will never be able to thank you all enough and all of you are the amazing people that have your best friend pets by your side day in and day out. We are so incredibly thankful for you sharing and loving your pets as much as we love ours.”

On January 2nd Anthony went back to the hospital for more chemo and the animal pictures are helping to bring a smile to his face.

“It really helps, the pet therapy,” Anthony Lyons told FOX10. “Like I can be in here having a really bad day and then one of the dogs will show up and it will be the highlight of the day.”