RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Stitch, a rescue dog with cleft lip and palate has bonded with two young children who have the same birth defect.
"Some people say what’s wrong with your nose? I say that I have cleft lip and palate," explains 6-year-old Lilly Rodman.Eight months ago
, Stitch and his foster mom, Christine were working to raise money for surgery to correct Stitch’s cleft lip and palate. It is a rare birth defect that affects both humans and animals, making it nearly impossible to get the nutrition needed to survive. Little did Christine know her rescue puppy’s story would hit home for a local family.
"I was like 'oh my gosh, you guys need to come out here and look at this dog', and I hit the record button and we watched the story about Stitch,” said Ashlee Rodman, Sam and Lilly’s Mom.
Lilly and her brother Sam were both born with cleft lip and palate and have had multiple surgeries to correct the birth defect. When they heard about Stitch, Ashlee said they had to meet him, "I just wanted to show my kids that they are not alone, it’s not only other humans that have this, cleft lip and palate, but animals have it also."
Ashlee said she has always taught her children they are extraordinary, and Stitch’s story has reaffirmed that message. Lilly is proud to share it, "I would want to tell them (people watching) that I’m something special."
Lilly is six and will have more surgeries as she grows. Her 4-year-old brother Sam recently had what is believed to be his final surgery, and as you can imagine, Stitch was a hot topic. Ashlee said she laid in Sam’s hospital bed with him, and they looked at Stitch’s Facebook page to reassure Sam that if Stitch could do it, so could he.
Stitch is now a household name at the Rodman’s and throughout the community. "I did a couple little things and he kind of took off and became his own little celebrity," said Stitch’s mom Christine Boyles.
Since the first story about Stitch aired in September 2013, Christine has decided to keep Stitch and she hopes to continue sharing his story, "Whether you are a dog or a human, we’re all different, but ya know, Stitch is happy he’s different and he’s
completely thrilled that he’s different, he doesn’t care and so I think we can all learn that, who cares if we’re different."
To learn more about, or follow, Stitch visit his Facebook page.
To learn more about cleft lip and palate, visit here.