WADDELL, AZ (Surprise Squad) -- The Arizona's Family Surprise Squad recently visited a young woman named Layne who is facing some health challenges. Her future mother-in-law, Nicole, says friends and family are making sure Layne has everything she needs while she recovers, but Nicole said Layne's seven dogs could also use a little help.
Arizona's Family April Warnecke and the Surprise Squad found Layne and Nicole at a friend's home in Waddell. "She is a very kind-hearted person," Nicole said about Layne after the crew came inside. "Her dad has some health issues. With her health issues, the first thing she thinks about is her dad. And her dogs. And that's just who she is. She takes care of people."
"She obviously means a lot to you," Warnecke said.
"More than she knows," Nicole answered while tearing up.
After being introduced to everyone in the home, Warnecke turned to Layne. "So, Layne, we're actually here to surprise you."
"Oh my gosh, what?" A shocked Layne said. "What's going on? This is crazy."
"We're here to deliver a little surprise," Warnecke smiled. "You look surprised."
"Totally, yes," Layne answered. "I was not expecting this. This is crazy. What is going on?"
"You have been nominated for this Surprise Squad because you have been described as an amazing, caring, thoughtful, and generous individual who's had a rough time lately."
Layne nodded in agreement. "So, recently, I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I had a big lump in my chest, which turned out to be an 11-centimeter mass. And so I just started my chemo three weeks ago. And so far I'm doing really well with it. So, I'm handling it well, but I have about six rounds to go. I'm not working right now. I'm a physical therapist and I love my job. But I do a lot of hands-on, and I'm just kind of seeing how I do with the treatments to see if it's something I can go back to sooner. But I'm anxious to get back. I've had patients reach out to me. It's been so nice. All my coworkers, they wear purple for me every Friday to support me."
"So, I understand one of your passions is dogs," Warnecke said. "Tell me about the dogs."
"We have seven dogs that people have given to us or we've found," Layne explained. "We really just can't turn them down and say no. We'd rather them be at our house than a shelter."
"There isn't a pet that they find on the street that she doesn't pick up," Nicole explained. "Even if they don't keep it, they stop and get it, and they put up pictures and flyers."
"I actually posted on Facebook for people to send me dog pics," Layne smiled. "And so I just get tons of dog pictures."
"All people think about is the medical bills that will mount up," Nicole continued. "But medical bills are medical bills. People, animals, these things have to take priority because they're living."
"We wanted to just give you a little something to help out with that," Warnecke said to Layne as she reached into a bag. "So, we have a dog bone."
"Perfect," Layne smiled.
"And we have dog food," Warnecke added as she put a bag of dog food on the table next to the bone.
"Nice, we can always use that," Layne said.
"And then we hope that this will help, too, in taking care of the dogs. We know that they're helping take care of you." Warnecke handed Layne an envelope with a Surprise Squad sticker on it. "This is from Arizona's Family Surprise Squad and also on behalf of your Valley Toyota Dealers."
Layne's eyes widened when she opened it up and pulled out a certificate inside for $1,000 for dog food and treats.
"This is awesome. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. That's crazy. Dog food and treats. Which we go through pretty quick. Thank you, everybody, Nicole, Surprise Squad."
"We'll get through it," Nicole said, reflecting on Layne's cancer. "With a little bit of love and hope and prayers, we'll get through it."
"And dog food," Warnecke added. "You forgot dog food."
"And dog food," Nicole laughed. "Dog food is important."