Therapy dogs at Kathy's House offer love to mother and daughter battling cancer

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Therapy comes in all forms, and at Kathy's House -- a living facility for people who need long-term medical care -- therapy comes with four legs and fur.

Monday, Jan. 23, one Wisconsin family had a tearful goodbye for their four-legged therapist.

Kayla Fraley and Nancy May, a mother and daughter from Crandon, Wisconsin, are both battling cancer.

"I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and that was in December of 2020," said 27-year-old Kayla Fraley.

The two women said goodbye to two lifelong friends, Lady and Finn.

May, Fraley's mother, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after.

"It was so hard being away from her, and not hold her hand or have her hold my hand, because we are linked at the hip in so many ways," said May.

While working with doctors in Crandon, Fraley was able to beat her initial diagnosis; that was until the tumor would come back, this time more aggressive.

"They told me I had to have a bone marrow transplant, that the chemo wasn’t working. You know when you're going to get a phone call that says, 'Hey, we need you to come in tomorrow, pack a bag for 30 days because you're being admitted,'" said Fraley.

The two women packed their bags and headed south to Wauwatosa so they could continue their treatments.

They stayed at Kathy's House for nearly four months, a place they call a sanctuary.

"This has been hard, but this house, it is not just a house for people to go to, but it’s a home," said Fraley.

Inside Kathy's House, guests could be met by 7-year-old Lady and 5-year-old Finn, providing a moment of sensory therapy.

"I think it is healing, and rejuvenation, and hope and all that, it's just a wonderful thing," said Kathleen Dunn, a board member with Pets Helping People, a volunteer organization dedicated to using the charm and comfort of pets to help people cope with life's tough moments.

For ways you can help families staying at Kathy's House, click the link here.

If you are interested in being a part of Pets Helping People, click the link here.

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