Twelve-year-old Kylie Myers was the girl with the constant smile, infectious laugh, and joy for life. Her mother, Robin, called Kylie “the glue that held their family together,” and everyone who knew her called her “Smiley Kylie.” But that constant smile hid a very sad truth: Kylie had metastatic bone cancer – and she was dying.
In her final days, courageous and free-spirited Kylie was comforted by her rescue kitten, Liza. Kylie’s compassionate final requests were that her father help find a cure for childhood cancer and that her mother care for her kitten. In the same way that she bonded with Kylie when she most needed her, Liza the cat intuitively continues to comfort the bereaved family.
Liza was just completely devoted to loving on Kylie. She had this purpose, and it was the most beautiful thing to see.” —Robin Myers, Kylie’s mom
“Last spring, we saw Mutual Rescue’s film Eric & Peety and were moved by it,” explained Robin. “We went to the Mutual Rescue website to see if there were other similar stories, and that’s where we discovered their call for additional stories. We decided to submit our story about Kylie and her rescue kitten, Liza.”
Shortly after Kylie and Liza’s story was selected for filming, a team assembled to bring their story to the big screen. “The experience was wonderful,” Robin recalled. “Everyone we met and worked with from Mutual Rescue and the filmmakers from Advocate Creative were incredibly professional and made us feel comfortable telling a rather hard story. They were encouraging, friendly, and told us what to expect at every step. We trusted them with sensitive photos and our trust was returned in how respectfully they portrayed Kylie’s last days. We felt like they invested their hearts in this effort and joined us to do something good with this story.”
When the Myers Family first saw the Kylie and Liza movie, they were delighted with the results.
“We loved it,” Robin said. “When you film so much material and leave it with someone else, you have no idea what will come back in the final version. For us, they magically brought Kylie back to life. People who never met her get to see Kylie’s spirit, which is crucial to the overall story. They also get to see how a silly, loyal, rescue kitten became such a godsend to us. We are so proud to be a part of this initiative and hope that people recognize, in a powerful way, the value of the human/animal connection.”
Recently, Mutual Rescue held a private screening of its first five films. “We attended, along with the other subjects of the films, and everyone involved in the Mutual Rescue Initiative,” Robin recalled. “It was an overwhelmingly inspirational and emotional day for all of us. As Kylie & Liza came to an end, we were introduced and had the opportunity to tell the audience that Kylie would have been very proud of this film and the potential good it will do toward saving homeless animals and ending childhood cancer around the world.”
Since the filming, Kylie’s Family kept their promises to their daughter. “Kylie had asked her dad, Mark, to help find a cure for childhood cancer and now he is doing exactly that in his new job with CURE,” explained Robin.
Liza, now an adult cat, continues to love the Myers Family as though she was born to do so. And while Kylie had asked her family to take care of her beloved baby kitten, Robin believes that that’s not the only request that she made in her final moments.
“Kylie told me to take care of Liza,” Robin said tearfully, “but it’s also like she asked Liza to take care of me.”
Mutual Rescue has established the Kylie & Liza Fund to help grant Kylie’s last wishes: to save homeless animals and to end childhood cancer. To make a donation, visit this site today. To view the Kylie & Liza movie, click here.
Stay tuned for the next Mutual Rescue story, Tracy & Jack, which is set to debut in April!
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