The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

April 9, 2014

Taking Care of Paws — Sasha's Way

One girl, one mission, to help sick and injured homeless pets

Sasha Dison, 9, loves animals — all of them.

The Piney Chapel girl has been on a mission most of her life to help sick and injured homeless pets.

A charity fundraiser to benefit nonprofit animal rescue organizations will be held in her honor from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, at the Station Pub & Grille in Madison at 8694 Madison Blvd.

The other side of Sasha’s story is that she is sick. Since age six, Sasha has been battling a rare form of cancer known as rhabdomayosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer of the muscles.

In 2012 — after extensive treatment — Sasha’s scans were clean, but in March 2013, more tumors had developed and her cancer relapsed.

She is currently waiting to undergo experimental treatments.

Sasha was set to fulfill one of her dreams and swim with dolphins in Florida this month. Due to her recent hospitalization, however, the trip had to be canceled.

Friends and family have said the highlight of her day — right now — is when the therapy dogs are brought to her room for a visit. The visits give Sasha something to look forward to.

Sasha also dreams of becoming a veterinarian. At home, she has a boxer-lab mix named Milly, two cats named Molly and Kosha and a bearded dragon lizard named Liza.

According to friends, Sasha has a huge heart for animals. In fact, on her birthdays she asks to receive no presents and instead asks people to bring dog or cat food to her party. She donates the food to local rescue organizations.

The Taking Care of Paws-Sasha’s Way event will include live music by keyboardist Dave Anderson and acoustical guitarists Scott Glennon and Jordan Reynolds as well as food and a drink, which includes house wine, beer or a soft drink. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online, or at the door.

During the event, “goodies” filling a red wheelbarrow will be raffled off. Chances are $1 each or six for $5.

Taking Care of Paws — Sasha’s Way was formed by Beth Mumaw, Shrail Heinrich and Liz Cuneo. The group said they were looking for a way to honor Sasha’s love of animals by holding a fundraiser.

Proceeds go to a local rescue organization to help with vet bills.

The family is hopeful that TCP-Sasha’s Way will become a yearly event and a lasting legacy to Sasha and her animals.

To find out more, visit www.sashasway.org or find TCP — Sasha’s Way on Facebook. For more information, email sashasway01@gmail.com.

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