A 28-year-old woman with brain cancer had a longtime dream of being “showered with puppies” fulfilled recently when she was surprised with a puppy party at a Sacramento shelter recently.
“I love puppies and I’ve always just wanted to be surrounded by like 10 dogs,” Courtney Gessford told PEOPLE. “Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved animals. Everyone knows, ‘Courtney’s such a dog person.’”
Gessford’s magical day happened on Jan. 7 at the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento. The shelter captured the sweet surprise on video, including the emotional moment when a blindfolded Gessford removed the piece of fabric covering her eyes and realized she was surrounded by puppies.
The woman broke down in tears, covering her face as the small canines were placed on her lap, the footage showed. All puppies at the animal shelter took part in the surprise.
“This is like the best day – the best moment of my life,” Gessford said in the video, which was posted on the shelter’s Facebook post. “It is my dream.”
Gessford was diagnosed with brain cancer more than three years ago, at the age of 24. Her treatment since then has included three brain surgeries and at least a year of chemotherapy, PEOPLE reported.
She is “obsessed” with dogs, according to the shelter, and her family and friends reached out to them to make the special day happen, thinking it would be the best medicine.
“We hope that the healing power of puppies has brought her one step closer to recovery!” the shelter wrote on its Facebook page.
Since being posted on Jan. 10, the video has been viewed more than 1.8 million times and shared by over 23,000 Facebook users.