Eight-year-old Perryn Miller has had a rough go of it over the last year — but the kindness of a stranger perhaps softened the blow of bad news when the stranger delivered the family dog cross-country.
What are the details behind the child's diagnosis?
In 2018, Perryn and his North Carolina-based family lost their home in Hurricane Florence. Repairs to the home are still ongoing.
As if that weren't bad enough, Perryn began to suffer from debilitating headaches along with vomiting while visiting family in Utah over the holidays, according to People magazine.
Perryn's family believed his symptoms to be brought on by a new pair of prescription glasses, but a visit to the emergency room changed the narrative fast and for the worst.
Doctors at a Utah hospital put Perryn through a battery of tests, and discovered that he had a brain tumor that required emergency surgery.
The tumor was one of the worst of its kind: glioblastoma multiforme stage IV, which is an aggressive — and typically terminal — cancer.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to cope with Perryn's vast medical needs.
The page reads, "Although they were able to remove the tumor, he still has a long road ahead of him to include several months of radiation and chemotherapy either in Utah or at Duke Hospital."
At the time of this writing, the GoFundMe page has raised over $35,000.
"[Perryn is] a warrior and is putting up the good fight," the page adds. "Even during all of this time in the hospital, he has been more worried about his family than himself."
So how did the stranger and the dog come into play?
A former trucker named Bob Reynolds — who was apparently moved by the Miller family story — picked up the family's dog, Frank, and drove him across the country to allow Perryn to be near his dog while he's recovering from surgery.
Much to Perryn's surprise — and delight — Frank, an 8-month-old German Shepherd, joined the family in Utah.
"I felt really excited to see Frank," Perryn said. "I just really like Frank and he's a good dog."
Perryn added, "One time when we were just laying down snuggling, a tear went down. He cried and I felt loved."
According to CBS News, Reynolds said that he made the cross-country trip because it was simply the right thing to do.
"I never questioned why I was doing it or anything like that," Reynolds explained. "I just knew something had to be done and that I could do it."
Reynolds told KUTV-TV that he hopes the dog will be a blessing to Perryn's recovery.
"I just think it's a great thing that Frank can be there with him and help him recover," Reynolds said. "He does have a long journey; hopefully Frank helps him out."