FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tractor Supply made a wish come true for a 9-year-old Franklin girl.
Her wish: to help abandoned and neglected dogs this holiday season.
The courageous young girl battling rare cancer selflessly wanted to give back to a local animal rescue.
In 2017, at just 4 years old, Caroline Lantz was diagnosed with stage four, high-risk Neuroblastoma, rare cancer which develops in nerve tissue and spreads throughout her body.
Unfortunately, Caroline relapsed in April and has been receiving treatment at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt since.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital this last month, and she was really bummed about missing all the Christmas festivities at school and Christmas parties with family and friends. So she’s just been really down. When your child’s diagnosed with something this serious, we were carried by our community. You have to learn how to ask for help in all sorts of ways and this community has carried us for the last five years,” Margaret Lantz, Caroline’s mom said.
While 9-year-old Caroline has been in the hospital battling an aggressive, solid-tumor cancer, she wasn’t thinking of herself.
Instead, all she could think about was helping abandoned and neglected dogs.
“She didn’t understand why a dog would be labeled as unadoptable, because she said all the dogs still have hearts, so why can’t somebody love on them just because they’re different? So, she’s a really sweet, very special girl,” Margaret said.
“Caroline is such a special young girl. She wasn’t thinking about going to Disney, New York, or Paris. Her wish was to help unwanted and unloved dogs, special needs dogs. You think about that during the holiday season, shouldn’t we all be doing that giving to those who are in need,” Marti Skold-Jordan, manager of the Tractor Supply Foundation said.
Caroline’s wish came true thanks to Tractor Supply, who surprised her with a shopping spree at their South Franklin store.
“She has a big smile on her face and I needed to see that smile. That’s the sparkle and shine in her eye that sometimes gets dimmed by what she has to go through, but it’s still there,” Margaret said.
Caroline’s dream was to get $150 to spend on these animals, but Tractor Supply gifted her over $3,000 to pick out items like beds, blankets, dog food, and treats.
All of the supplies that Caroline picked out were donated to Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, a Franklin-based nonprofit.
“I was very proud when she started talking about this because it makes me feel like she recognized the help that we’ve received and paying it forward, and that she really understands that concept of it feels so good to give because you receive so more when you’re giving,” Margaret said.
On top of the shopping spree, Tractor Supply surprised Caroline and her brother with two carts full of Christmas gifts, including a hand-written card from Miranda Lambert, thanking Caroline for what she’s doing for these animals.
Tractor Supply even gifted $1,000 gift cards to both nonprofit organizations Heaven Can Wait and Angel Heart Farms.