OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An Omaha family is racing to extend their daughter’s legacy.
They turned her love of animals into the foundation for creating something joyful and therapeutic for others – puppy fostering.
“Who doesn’t love a dog,” said family friend Barb Roessner. “They are always happy. Their tails wag.
John McKew and his wife Maggie are the owners of new puppy Blair.
“Oreo, Blair, Murphy – whatever it’s called now,” said Omaha’s John McKew. “We were really intrigued by this opportunity.”
Blair is named after Maggie’s father’s hometown. “My dad goes to the VA about once a week,” Maggie said, “and we thought it would be cool if the pup was brought.”
This is the first adoption for the Omaha Macy’s Way Foundation – with the motto Open Your Heart – Find Your Way. It is named after Macy, the daughter of Jordan and Karen Stevens.
“Maybe this pup can be the bright spot for them,” Jordan said.
Macy spent much of her young life in and out of the hospital with heart issues. She loved the times when a therapy dog passed through her room.
“The kids lit up when they saw it — it made them smile,” Barb said.
In 2008 – at the age of 10, Macy Stevens received a new heart. Macy Stevens said in 2008, “I’m glad to be home and it’s okay.”
She often shared video updates using a microphone made from whatever was nearby.
Once she used a fork and an apple. In 2008, Macy Stevens reported from St. Louis, “I’m Macy Stevens reporting from the Basilica.” Although it may have seemed that Macy Stevens wanted to be an animator one day, as she matured her goals changed.
She started working with animals and planned to open a dog grooming business.
But her heart stopped beating a few days before her 21st birthday.
“We want to keep Macy alive. She is with us in spirit and we miss her daily. She was amazing,” said Barb Roessner, who not only is part of the dog-breeding business that shared Blair, but she was also Macy’s heart transplant coordinator. “It’s a no-brainer for us – this is the first puppy – and we hope there will be many, many more.”
Blair is the first of a long list of therapy dogs named Macy’s Way. “When something so wonderful can come out of something so tragic, it’s pretty amazing,” Barb said.
Although Macy is gone, she still has her favorite dog running around.
If the Stevens family doesn’t know where Lulu is, they usually find her sleeping on Macy’s bed. Macy loved sports, especially volleyball.
Her parents say she would have loved if the first family to have a dog was related to sports.
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