Animal rescues help celebrate Sebring teen’s milestone day

Sydney Samblanet, 14, just had her 17th back surgery and nothing makes her happier than animals

Local animal rescues joined forces Saturday to make a Brookfield girl's day.

BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Local animal rescues joined forces Saturday to make a Sebring girl’s day.

Sydney Samblanet, 14, just had her 17th back surgery and nothing makes her happier than animals. Little did she know, locals banded together to give her the ultimate care package.

There were 30 T-shirts and gifts, all donated from local animal rescues.

“They don’t even know me and they want to send stuff,” Sydney said. “That’s just really sweet.”

The day celebrated a milestone for Sydney — her final surgery for a curve in her spine.

“Her first surgery was at age 5,” Sydney’s mom Tracie McFerren said. “And she has had a surgery pretty much every six months up until she just turned 14.”

Animal Advocate Jason Cooke caught wind of Sydney’s story about a month ago. He read an article that mentioned her surgeries and her love for animals.

“I started reaching out to all the local rescues in the Mahoning Valley and actually throughout Ohio,” Cooke said. “Everything that you see on this table is because of our rescues and the generosity of people throughout the Mahoning Valley.”

“What do you say when you get something like this?” Sydney said.

For Cooke, Sydney’s love for animals is all the thanks he needs.

“We always have to have people willing to step up and help our animals and that’s what I see in Sydney,” he said.