8-year-old girl battling rare blood disorder surprised with service dog

Mia Vane was living like many other 8-year-old girls last year -- going to school and playing soccer -- until the unthinkable happened.

Just after the pandemic hit, Mia was diagnosed with a serious form of a disease called aplastic anemia -- a rare blood disorder that damages bone marrow, so the body stops producing enough new blood cells to fight infection.

"I just started bruising after I was playing soccer," Mia told "Good Morning America." "And they just started getting all purple and stuff."

Because of the blood disorder, Mia can't be in school and risk getting sick with COVID-19. Any injury sends her straight to the emergency room. And while medications are keeping the disease in check, the only real cure is risky -- a bone marrow transplant.

To help Mia, her aunt Blake Brady nominated the 8-year-old for a service dog from 4E Kennels Healing Hearts program, which gifts service dogs to families in need.

Brady created a moving video pointing out the reasons why Mia is deserving of a dog.

"It's gonna let her be a kid again," said Brady. "It's gonna free her up to be a kid."

Mia, who has always wanted a dog of her own, was surprised with a 10-month-old goldendoodle named Dougie by Jeanette Forrey of 4E Kennels Healing Hearts, who helped train the pup.

"What an incredible young girl defying the odds, but being knocked down again and again by something she cannot control," said Forrey. "To bring just a small amount of sunshine and comfort and companionship to help her through the darkest days and the brightest moments is incredibly exciting."
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