Yesterday, we shared the story of Cecil Williams, a blind man whose guide dog, Orlando, saved his life after he fell onto New York City subway tracks.
Williams told the Associated Press that Orlando would soon be retiring — and that his insurance wouldn't cover the costs of caring for a retired dog. He'd have to find his dog a loving home.
Compassionate readers rallied together to make sure that Williams and Orlando don't have to be separated.
According to the Village Voice, "At a press conference yesterday, Williams announced a Guiding Eyes donor had pledged enough money through to cover Orlando's expenses for the rest of his life."
"As of right now," Williams is planning to keep Orlando, said Michelle Brier, spokeswoman for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Williams called the outpouring of support a "miracle."
"The spirit of giving, Christmas…exists in New York," a tearful Williams told the Associated Press from his hospital room.
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"I'm not a crybaby or nothing. But my eyes are misty and I'm tearing right now because things like this here don't happen for everybody," Williams said. "They should happen. We should care about one another. We should do for one another. But it's not always that way."
Williams hopes the public will also support other disabled individuals in need of guide dogs. Guiding Eyes for the Blind will forward any leftover donations to do just that, as will the GoFundMe campaign.
If Williams finds himself unable to care for both his retired dog and a new guide dog, the family that raised Orlando is willing to welcome the dog back into their home.
- Cecil Williams