Our Story

Medici and Me

"Medici" sprang into my life in Fall of 1999, only 6 months before my diagnosis with a life threatening case of systemic lupus that targeted both kidneys, proliferative glomular nephritis Stage4-5 out of 6. Impact of immune suppression with harsh chemotherapy for 2 years, high dose steroids crushed me at age 46.

Medici & Me

I was heading into renal failure, full steam ahead, with central nervous system involvement, fibromyalgia, joint and muscle pain, neuropathy and visual issues. My body reeled and so did my life. Nothing stayed the same but my faith in God, the love for my young children, Ariel, 6 & Vincent, 10, my dear family, close friends, numerous volunteer networks that we were active within our community and how they helped!

We had many loving pets, our kitties, Nana, Nike, Angelo, birds, bunnies, guinea pigs and Giovanni de Medici, our tri-colored Papillon dog. With frisky persistence he’d pull off my socks off upon my return home from a hospitalization. As I rested on the sofa too fatigued to climb the stairs, he’d jump on my lap to cuddle or perch above me on the sofa back, like a look-out in the crow’s nest, I moved like an anchor, in mud it felt like, needed canes to help myself up from bed or sitting.

Medici would never walk in front or back of me, but ever at my side, my friend. His tilted head and curious brown eyes and acknowledged my every move, I’d ask him; “What are you looking at, Gou-Gou!” And every morning, butterfly kisses were gingerly licked upon my eyelashes to wake me.

At times I felt abandoned in total disbelief, could be my lot? Is this how it’s going to be forever? How long was forever? He’d bark and snap me out of the daze, as if to say, “forget the fear, there is no problem, time to go for a walk!” I often felt like the Lone Ranger, mask, gloves and all to prevent germs from entering my compromised immune status.

People found it hard to talk above Medici’s loud and piercing bark. How else could he be heard from way down there around my ankles? I admit he needed some settling, but his voice held energy. He swirled around me with joyful paws in the air. He could fly. We were inseparable.

Medici was Alpha everything, above his tolerant family of cats, birds, guinea pigs and bunnies, before foster care and into permanent homes. What grief it was to learn in 2004, Medici’s bond to me was with autoimmune lupus too. Because of this we started outreach for PetsNPatients mission in 2005. On March 13, 2006, my dear little partner, Medici, lost his battle fighting for his life again with an acute flare of his disease which manifested again as Autoimmune thrombocytopenia.

A noble Papillon dog, French for "butterfly", Medici’s his little face, with penetrating eyes that reassured me through all physical trials of tolerating the immense body pain, unending fatigue of total body inflammation that I was loved and unconditionally, no matter what I looked like then or how I felt.

Pets are family, love as family, live as family. None ever should be left behind in any disaster including a personal disaster related to life changing disability.

My opinion, newly disabled patients become like a vessel caught in the wake of a speeding boat. We rock and reel, stuck in the middle, not in control at the helm of life, no forward or backward movement, we pause and float. A period of acceptance finds us navigating uncharted waters, while we get our bearings. With chronic illness, it takes time to chart a new course and find a safe harbor in life. The disease or accident is not us; it is what happened to us. How fortunate, some loved ones remain. Like our companion pets. Would they truly leave us, willingly?

Pets are like life preservers; they hold our spirits up so we can breathe.

These relationships bring about love, laughter and healing one “tail” at a time.
So important is the intangible need for patients to keep and preserve their own pets when confronting health challenges demanding immediate changes. Relinquishing pets, long term kennel boarding or give-ups to animal control if adoption rescues are full, or worse is not the answer.

In my experience, pets are a clear indication that a higher love motivates and brings forth angels in fur coats to live and live well with us, no matter the compromise in which we find ourselves and those who are well and able need to lend a heart and respite home for a “band-aid” of time to heal.

I thank our growing number of volunteers and creative artists, photographers from many states that have contributed time and talent. To help us start our mission, we warmly embrace and acknowledge the generous support of:

Jenner & Block LLP, Chicago, IL, www.jenner.com
Banfield Charitable Trust, www.banfieldcharitabletrust.net - $15K Grant 2007 Awarded

Support our P.P.A.W.S.S. mission which is Positive Pet Action With Social Service! Donate stocks, bequest, etc. Donate to PetsNPatients at Harris Bank N.A. 630-527-2146.

NOW RECRUITING PET SITTERS AS PROGRAM PARTNERS! We inviting pet sitters nationally to donate a pet sit for a patient in their area. In return we will in return provide a tax deductible credit for your services in-kind to support a patient and their pet. We are looking to start national PetsNPatients chapters in all states too. Join us! The needs are real, and the “Tails” are many.

Thank you!


Ann Marie Glaviano
Ann Marie Glaviano
President & Medici Founder
PetsNPatients Non for Profit 501c3

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