Ever since he lost his right leg to cancer, 12-year-old Quinn Scharn of Napa, California, has been asking his parents for a dog. He didn't want just any dog, though — he wanted a three-legged dog, who would be able to understand his struggle.
Scharn's battle with cancer has been a long and complex one: When he was just a toddler, he was diagnosed with a soft-tissue cancer in his abdomen, and he underwent a year's worth of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and a few weeks of radiation before it disappeared. Five years later, he was still cancer-free, and his family rejoiced.
But Scharn started experiencing pain in his right leg after his 10th birthday. The pain turned into a limp, and the limp turned into bone cancer in his right hip — and before he knew it, the 10-year-old had to have his leg and part of his pelvis removed in an effort to keep the cancer from spreading.
The second battle with cancer has been especially hard on Scharn, his mother, Teresa Howell, told TODAY. Despite receiving news that he was cancer-free in January, Scharn felt lonely, stressed, and scared — and because he still had to learn how to live with one leg, he didn't have much of a chance to celebrate being cancer-free.
"Quinn has appeared to be happy-go-lucky, but as his mother, I'd known it's like a cover for what he's struggling with inside," Howell said. "He's just been emotionally having a hard time."
Then Logan entered the picture.
Scharn's wish for a three-legged dog came true last week, when his family finally brought home Logan, a pit bull mix being housed at a shelter in nearby Sacramento. Scharn and his mom made the hour-long drive to the Front Street Animal Shelter the day after Howell was tagged in a Facebook post about Logan — and after meeting with him and learning that another family who had been eyeing him was no longer interested, they adopted the three-legged pooch on the spot.
Logan has only lived with the family for about a week now, but he and Scharn are already the best of friends. And Howell has seen a dramatic change in her son — she told TODAY that she sees genuine happiness and hope in him when he's with his three-legged pup.
As for Scharn? He couldn't be more thrilled.
"I'm beyond happy," the 12-year-old said. "Having Logan, to me, is having a best friend that knows everything about you... We're fighters. We're resilient. We never stopped fighting, and whatever life does to us, we're going to keep going."