Lions! White Tigers! Adventures! Oh My!!! One month ago, on November 30, 2018, Dominic and his family set out for an animal adventure of a lifetime! Dominic, along with his mom, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle and three cousins traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Rescue Center where Dominic would fulfill his dream to see white tigers – live – before his very own eyes!!!
Dominic and his family were equipped with two rental vans – fully stocked with car organizers, road trip games, car snacks, and gas cards to get them through the 10 hour drive. They arrived at Turpentine Creek early Friday evening, greeted by the wonderful staff welcoming them to the Refuge. Accommodations were top notch! The families stay was in two suites set near the tiger habitat where Dominic could see the tigers right outside his window.

The highlight of the trip took place on Saturday. After breakfast, Dominic was in for a special surprise when he and his family were invited to the habitat of Kizman and Tanya – two year old white tigers that put on a private show for Dominic as they entered their habitat which was personalized with painted (organic egg-based paint) cardboard boxes & signs to welcome the family to the refuge. Kizman & Tanya were engaging in “cardboard therapy” which allows the visitors to view them in action. Additionally, Dominic was presented with a painting that was made by Tanya & Kizman – especially for Dominic.

Following the “Tanya & Kizman show”, the family was then treated to a private “behind the scenes” tour of Turpentine Creek with a Curator of the property. Adventures continued through the weekend as the family enjoyed local tourist offerings between sightseeing and dining in and around Eureka Springs ~ all courtesy of CKMC.

The family was so grateful to be able to spend this time together, watching Dominic’s dream become a reality! Shortly after returning, Dominic’s mom Meagan posted “For days, I have been trying to come up with words to describe our trip to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. For the first time in my life I am at a loss of words. Cancer Kiss My Cooley paired with the Refuge has literally put hope back in our lives. Between seeing the look of pure joy on everyone’s faces and hearing excitement in Dominic’s voice, it is honestly the best feeling. For the first time in a long time, Dominic isn’t talking about chemo, doctors appointments, ports and cancer. Instead he’s talking about how Goober the monkey gets the same vitamin as him, how Spyke the black leopard loves him and is one of his favorites, and the words sanctuary and habitat put a smile on his face. For the first time in close to 2 years, this experience let Dominic be a kid again. I can’t thank you enough for the lifetime of experiences you provided us!”

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