Actor Charlie Sheen has long been known as the quintessential Hollywood bad boy, often making the headlines for some not-so-good reasons. But the Anger Management star showed his caring side last week when he helped a young Florida girl in desperate need of a therapy dog.
Almost three years ago, 15-year-old Teagan Marti fell 100 feetfrom an amusement park ride in the Wisconsin Dells resort Extreme World, leaving her with severe damage to her brain, spine, and pelvis. For three long months, the critically injured Teagan remained in a Wisconsin hospital, where she underwent excruciating physical therapy in order to regain partial use of her arms and legs. She is now able to walk again, but only with the aid of a walker.
Due to Teagan’s lasting difficulties, doctors recommended the teen get the help of a certified therapy dog. But Teagan’s mother, Julie Marti, says her family is still struggling to rebuild their finances — with Teagan’s medical bills and the legal costs of Julie’s recent divorce, finding the cash to pay for an expensive therapy dog seemed like an impossible dream.
That’s when Charlie Sheen came to the rescue.
Sheen heard of the Marti family’s plight through Eau Claire, Wisconsin resident Lucia Wilgus. Wilgus befriended the Marti family after Teagan’s accident, and when she found out the Martis did not have the funds for a therapy dog, Wilgus contacted one of her friends — a Benedictine brother who just happens to be Charlie Sheen’s godfather. Sheen was immediately moved by Teagan’s story and knew he wanted to help out.
“I like to pay it forward,” Sheen tells the Associated Press. Sheen doesn’t often discuss his charitable donations, but wanted to spread the word about Teagan’s story to inspire others to help in their communities. “People come into your orbit for a reason. You don’t always know what that is ahead of time, but if I ignore these requests then I don’t have any opportunity to see where these things lead us, or lead me,” Sheen adds.
Thursday Sheen wired Marti family $10,000 of his own money so that Teagan could finally get the therapy dog that will change her outlook and her life forever.
“I’m in such disbelief,” Julie Marti says of Sheen’s kind gesture. “I was crying. What a guy. What a guy.”
“She’s been struggling to make a comeback,” Julie explains, “and this dog with be [a] companion and so helpful to her.”
“I think he’s a very kind person for helping me and my family and very generous,” Teagan said of Sheen.
Teagan’s new therapy dog has already been selected from a litter of nine at Judy Essman’s Wisconsin home. The 15-pound Golden Retrieverpuppy was picked because she is the calmest of all of her brothers and sisters. Essman has contacted Fond du Lac therapy dog trainer Jake Guell, who will teach the young pup all the skills she will need to know to be a friend and guide for Teagan. Guell has already started these important training sessions.
“She’ll be tuggin’ a rope just like tuggin’ on a door eventually with a rope tied to the handle,” Guell explains. “Eventually she can use the support harness to help Teagan walk as well, that will make a big difference.”
“This puppy doesn’t even really know what she’s doing and how much she’s going to help a young girl’s life,” says Guell.
Teagan’s new four-legged friend won’t be ready until September, but Teagan already has the perfect name picked out — Charlie.