"Woof! That's how dogs like me say 'hello!' My name is Ali (sounds like alley), and I'm thrilled to be Nemours Children's Health's first four-legged, full-time associate. Kelsey Cebula and I are a team — she's my clinical handler, a Certified Child Life Specialist and Nemours Children’s Pet Therapy Coordinator. I'm a permanent facility service dog at Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware. We are very grateful that all proceeds from the Nemours Children's Health 2022 Delaware Golf Tournament will support Nemours Children's Pet Therapy Program.
Canine Assistants in Milton, Georgia, raised and trained me as a facility service dog when I was born four-and-a-half years ago. For the past three years, Kelsey and I worked together providing Child Life-initiated, goal-oriented and therapeutic support to patients, families and staff in a pediatric facility. We have moved here on a new adventure in the Delaware Valley to visit children at Nemours Children's. This makes my Golden Doodle tail wag vigorously!
Animal-Assisted Therapy, which is only possible through charitable support from awesome people like you, is different from other kinds of treatment. For example, when I work with Kelsey and visit kids, my years of training allow me to be in the bed for tough procedures and special hospital pictures. I can also help reduce anxiety by providing physical contact and a soft touch, increase oxytocin (a feel-good hormone) and decrease cortisol (a stress hormone), lower heart rate and blood pressure and offer unconditional love and acceptance to all patients and staff.
I hope you’ll come to the Nemours Children's Health 2022 Delaware Golf Tournament on October 24th to support pet therapy for sick and injured kids who need it. Kelsey and I might get a chance to meet you and thank you in person — we’re planning to attend the tournament, which will take place at DuPont Country Club. Hope to see you there!”