A 13-year-old girl thanked dozens of strangers Wednesday for giving her faithful companion a renewed chance at life.
“I can’t really believe how generous people are," a relieved Dani Hernandez said Wednesday.
One month ago, the City Heights teen told NBC 7 her best friend -- a scruffy little dog named Benji -- had cancer and her family couldn’t afford the surgery to remove two tumors.
“Something was wrong with her and I sensed it,” she said during an interview December 7, 2020.
A veterinarian told the Hernandez family Benji had a tumor on her stomach and a mammary gland. The vet said surgery to remove the tumors would cost roughly $1,400. The bill was too large for the family during the financially-taxing pandemic.
“It’s a really bad feeling when you know you can’t really do anything for your dog,” said the 8th grader, who created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Benji’s surgery.
“I was really scared that we wouldn’t be able to get that money raised,” she said.
Dani Hernandez and Benji appeared in an NBC 7 story on a Monday evening. By midnight, they had the money they needed. But the giving didn't stop. By Tuesday morning, they had more than three times what Benji needed.
“I couldn’t believe it!” exclaimed Hernandez. “Thank you so much!”
A month later, Hernandez walked Benji to speak with NBC 7 again. Hernandez said the doctor removed the tumors and spayed Benji during a successful surgery earlier last month.
“She reacted well to the surgery. The vet told us that everything was going normal,” the girl smiled. “I was immediately happy that she was well and that she was going to keep walking and keep living that life that she should be living.”
Hernandez said all the extra money would be put towards Benji’s continuing care.