July 25, 2011

Allison Winn, lemonade stands and doggie biscuits

Today I want to share a story that is kind of cute, I mean ‘puppy dog cute.’  Allison Winn was 7 years old when she found out she had a brain tumor.  Suddenly her life changed from playing with friends to undergoing treatments.  You probably can relate.  Her treatments left her tired and weak.  Some days all she could do was lie in her bed and rest.  Doing this every day made her sad after a while.

Her Mom was worried about her and mentioned her sadness to her doctor.  The doctor recommended that they give her a dog!  A group of women nearby had been training unwanted dogs to be companions to sick and disabled people.  Once they are trained, the women choose a home for them by looking at applications.  Allison’s mom filled out an application and hoped they’d be chosen to get a dog.

They were!   A little Bishon Frise (pronounced ‘bee-shon free-zay’) dog was given to Allison, and she named her Coco.  And Coco helped Allison feel better almost immediately.  

This makes a really ‘puppy dog cute’ story, but it doesn’t end there.  After Allison overcame her cancer and was feeling better when she was 9, she started thinking of other kids who were battling cancer.  She wanted to help them get puppies so they could feel better too.  Allison found out that it cost more than $300 to take an unwanted dog and train it to be gentle and helpful around sick kids.  So she started looking for ways to make money.

She started baking dog biscuits to sell at a lemonade stand.  She made up the recipe herself, using flour, bouillon cubes, powdered milk and oil.  They cut them out to look like doggy bones.  (I’m pretty sure she had some help coming up with that recipe.)  Allison and her family made thousands of them and sold them at her lemonade stand at her house, and even persuaded some local stores to sell them.  Over one summer, she raised over $1000, enough to train three dogs for children fighting cancer.  She has seen them placed with children, just as she wanted.

I think this is great because Allison was given a gift that meant a great deal to her.  When she was able, she turned around and made that gift available to others like herself.  Even though it cost money that she didn’t have, she came up with a plan to make money and went to work.  Some may have told her it was impossible but she did it anyway.


Mitchell, Kirk.  "Cancer Survivor, 9, Funds Support Dog for 2 Year Old."  The Denver Post 21 Oct 2009:  n. page. web. 24 July 2011.

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