Roz Purcell opens up for the time first time about her sister Rachel's battle with leukaemia
Top model Roz Purcell has praised her beloved dog Wilko with helping her sister's leukaemia.
The 25-year-old food guru lives in Dublin city centre with the 28-year-old and their miniature Jack Russell Wilko, who she says has helped her sister's condition.
"When my sister Rachel was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia earlier this year, one of the things she was advised to do was to keep her stress levels down, and it was suggested to us that we get a dog. Rachel and I live together in Dublin, so it made sense because we love dogs and had wanted one for a while," she told the Irish Independent.
Roz and Rachel have lived together for the last number of years and are famously close completing physically challenges around Ireland and travelling the world together.
"We chose to rescue a pup because there are so many dogs out there that need really good homes, and because I've done lots of work with animal charities, I always said I'd go to one when the time came to get my own dog."
"Having Wilko has helped Rachel so much because having a pet there really encourages you to go out every day walking. CML is a long term illness, but Rachel is very positive about it and has been reaching health milestones since her diagnosis in January. Wilko is such good company, so full of energy and always so happy which is contagious. It's the ultimate distraction and de-stresser."
"We'd always really wanted a Jack Russell because we had one growing up and he was like a brother to us. They're so smart with really great personalities. Then when Pawsitivity in the City was on a few months ago, the organisers told me that they just got a litter of little Jack Russells in, and it was perfect timing.
"We wanted a boy for no reason really, other than we had the name picked. It turned out though that all the other pups died in that litter, so Wilko was the only survivor.
"I feel like he's my child and I'm very protective of him. If someone didn't like him, or dogs in general, I would definitely judge them."
Full interview in today's Irish independent