Chip Madren, brain tumor survivor, gets a dog

chip and veraMost of you are probably aware of local boy, Chip Madren, and his struggles (and triumphs) resulting from brain cancer.   I’ve posted several stories about Chip since his diagnosis.   Watching how the community has surrounded the Madren family with love and support is truly inspiring. 

I had always known that the Madren boys play baseball and figured that eventually I’d probably run across them on a baseball field somewhere in Atlanta.   I’m thrilled to report that the time has come and now I’ve seen them all spring and summer at MANY baseball fields all around Atlanta!  My oldest (Troy) and Chip’s brother (Jack) have spent the entire travel baseball season playing together for the 15U Dunwoody Diablos. 

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 100 times, Lea Madren (Chip’s Mom) is amazing!  Now I know what everyone was talking about.  Her general attitude and personality are positively and wonderfully infectious.   It is plainly obvious that Lea is a great Mom.  She will be embarrassed and maybe a little miffed at me for giving HER so much attention but she just inspires me so much that I have to tell y’all!  She loves all three of her boys tremendously and works very hard to make sure they all get the attention they deserve from their Mom.  

All this build-up is to tell you about a recent chapter in Chip’s story.  I had heard that Holy Innocents’ had recently done a race fundraiser to assist Chip in getting a Canine Assistant.  I asked Lea about it one day while we were watching a baseball scrimmage and it soon became obvious that I was NOT wearing waterproof mascara.   She was so excited to show me that Vera (the dog) chose Chip.   Apparently the patients don’t pick which dog they want.   The dogs do all the choosing!  She too, was skeptical at first so she wanted to show me a few videos on her iPhone.  I watched video after video of dogs coming in to meet Chip….I watched Vera go in to meet other patients.   Then I watched Vera meet Chip for the first time.   I’m crying again now while I’m typing.   Vera really did CHOOSE Chip.   She laid her sweet little head on his knee and basically said “I’m all yours!”

Since then I’ve met both Vera and Chip.  They are a wonderful duo.    I laughed when discovering that Vera is just like my George in that she loves to come to baseball games and try to snack on peanut shells and sunflower seeds.   But George can’t open doors, fetch my socks, come get me if my kids need me, go on an airplane with me or to camp with my boys.  Vera can do all those things and more!  She can help Chip start conversations just like any boy with a beautiful dog.  If you see them out and about please introduce yourself.   You will be blessed by the experience. 

Check out the fabulous video about Chip and Vera from 11Alive below….I also found another great article about Chip and Vera that you may want to read. Enjoy…but grab a box of tissues first!.