Kylie Myers was 12-years-old when she was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer.
She immediately began treatment, which her mother, Robin, described as "brutal".
But Robin also says Kylie was "a master at finding ways to be joyful."
Treatment was going well, and midway through, Kylie started asking for a baby kitten of her own to join the Myers family's four other pets.
Robin told Kylie they would wait until the radiation treatment was over and see how things went.
In the last few days of Kylie's radiation treatment, pain in her shoulder revealed the cancer had spread throughout her body, and that she wasn't going to make it.
Mark made a call and within an hour a tiny kitten, who Kylie named Liza, was delivered to their door.
Liza went to Kylie's side immediately and put her paw over Kylie's shoulder.
After Kylie passed, Liza comforted the family from Georgia in the US, through the days, weeks and months that followed.
"Kylie told me to take care of Liza, but it's also like she told Liza to take care of me," said Robin.
A year after Kylie's death, Robin and Mark submitted their story to Mutual Rescue, a group that creates films to show the power of human-animal connection, particularly from rescue animals.
You might know their work from the story of Eric, an obese man who re-discovered a love for life after rescuing a dog named Peety.
Mutual Rescue ended up making Kylie and Liza's story into a video, sponsored by PetSmart Charities, and launched a fund with the family to raise money for childhood cancer research and homeless animals.
"Our goal is to keep homeless animals and childhood cancer at the forefront of the minds of donors through sharing the Kylie & Liza film and promoting the fund," a spokesperson for Mutual Rescue told BuzzFeed News.
"We created the Mutual Rescue film series to shine a light on the life-changing power of human-animal connection. Robin and Mark Myers wanted to share their story to honour Kylie’s last requests: to take care of her kitty and to find a cure for childhood cancer.
"The Kylie & Liza” film carries a message of connection and hope, and all of us are so proud to have been a part of it."
You can watch the full story of Kylie & Liza here:
And you can donate to the Kylie and Liza fund here.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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