When Tiffany Long, 26, found that she had terminal cancer, she did something amazing: instead of focusing on her death, she focused on paying it forward for others. Tiffany created the Tiffany Project, which promotes random acts of kindness and uses the hashtag #TheTiffanyProject.
And when Tiffany realized that she was in her final days, she had only one wish: to receive her own act of kindness and hold a puppy one last time.
Washington State organization Panda Paws Rescue stepped up to grant that wish, bringing one very special puppy to Tiffany. Cashew is an eight-week-old French Bulldog puppy who is extremely tiny, tipping the scales at just under one pound. All of her litter mates passed away, but little Cashew is thriving under Panda Paws’ care – thanks to the dedication of founder Amanda Giese and her family.
“Cashew has hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and she’s a possible shunt candidate,” explained Amanda. “She also has megaesophagus and she has to be held up for half an hour after each feeding. Every time she’s fed, it's one teaspoon every two hours."
While caring for Cashew is 24 hour a day work, the precocious pup has been an inspiration to everyone she's met - and that now includes Tiffany, as well.
“Tiffany's cancer is terminal and it’s inching toward the end,” Amanda said sadly. “It was one of her last wishes to cuddle with some puppies. We went to her the same day that we received the request and brought Cashew to meet her."
Tiffany has been battling cancer for over one year. Before her diagnosis, she worked in the public school system helping developmentally challenged children. She also volunteered with the Special Olympics.
Tiffany has always been a selfless person. Now that she can no longer pay it forward herself, she hopes that #TheTiffanyProject will help her continue to make a difference in the lives of others. Knowing that she’s still making a difference in her final days would bring an incredible amount of joy to her life.
And little Cashew? She's spreading joy, as well, as she continues to defy the odds with her own diagnoses.
"If Cashew does have a liver shunt, she would get surgery to ligate an extra vessel that she has. Otherwise, she'd have to have her diet monitored or she could have seizures. She’s not a candidate for surgery at this point, though - she's still so young," Amanda explained.
But little Cashew is a fighter. At eight weeks of age, she's already making a difference for others - starting with Tiffany.
Panda Paws Rescue is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit rescue specializing in major medical, special needs, and hospice care. Financial contributions to help Panda Paws continue to care for special needs rescue animals can be made on their website at www.PandaPawsRescue.org.