Marielle's sense of purpose

Eighteen-year-old Marielle grew up facing social and physical challenges from living with a severe physical disability characterized by stiff and weak muscles. She had been feeling depressed, unmotivated, and uncertain about her future. Working with the Shine team, she created a customized experience that would help her see a future full of opportunity and possibility: a new puppy!

When Marielle met her dog Baloo (whom she named after the Jungle Book character), they instantly bonded. Caring for Baloo has created a positive routine in Marielle’s life that she looks forward to every day, and fills her with a sense of purpose.

Taking Baloo out for a morning walk has helped her connect with the community and increased her social interactions. Everyone is excited to see Baloo as much as Marielle is excited to talk about him! This gives Marielle a chance to focus on something other than her crutches.

It’s thanks to generous people like you that Marielle Shines brightly. The new responsibilities of being a ‘dog mom’ have increased her happiness, self-confidence, and helped her mature into a confident young woman.


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Marielle holds her puppy, Baloo