The Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF), has its eyes on Luna, which has been in place outside Sunderland Minster for the past six weeks.
Luna was inspired by her namesake, three-year-old Sunderland youngster Luna Petrucci, who underwent lifesaving heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital’s heart unit in Newcastle.
The charity that supports the unit wants to secure Luna the Snowdog as a permanent addition to the outdoor play area which sits in a courtyard adjacent to the unit when the dogs are auctioned off for charity on December 6 at Sage Gateshead.
Families ordered to remove 'unauthorised' tributes from loved ones' graves in Sunderland cemeteries
"He was unique and one of a kind" - Family pays tribute to 'much-loved' cyclist who died in suspected hit and run collision in Sunderland
Violent Washington robber broke ex-partner's jaw and raided South Shields newsagents armed with knife
15 pictures showing exactly why beautiful Washington Village is in the running for Britain in Bloom awards
Watch: DCI Joanne Brooks talks about the investigation that brought Jack Woodley's killers to justice
All of the 61 Snowdogs dotted around the North East as part of an arts trail will go on sale, with proceeds going to St Oswald’s Hospice.
Sergio said: “The simple fact is that I don’t think my daughter Luna would be here today if it wasn’t for that incredible unit and all the unbelievably dedicated and talented staff and professionals at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
“We’re so lucky to have what is a world-renowned unit right on our doorstep and I’m desperate to see Luna the Snowdog be enjoyed by the hundreds of other desperately sick boys and girls, who arrive from all over the country, that are treated on the heart unit.
“My wife and I feel so blessed to have had the support of everybody on the unit and at CHUF. We are 100 percent behind their campaign to give Luna the
Snowdog a permanent home on the Children’s Heart Unit. ”
Chris Gray, chief executive at CHUF, said: “Ten percent of children helped by The Children’s’ Heart Unit at Freeman Hospital are from the Wearside area.
“Sergio, his family, work colleagues and those around him in Sunderland have been such enormous supporters of CHUF. We’re so very keen to see that Luna
the Snowdog can carry on putting smiles on the faces of many other sick children in the future.”
Leading Sunderland figures have already started to support CHUFs bid to secure Luna the Snowdog’s future.
Sheila Bamber, Canon Provost Sunderland Minster, said: “It’s been such a thrill having Luna the Snowdog located right outside the Minster. She has generated a vast number of visitors and fans. We’re fully behind CHUF’s wishes to give Luna a permanent home at the Children’s Heart Unit, given that it was the very place that was the inspiration behind her in the first place.”
•To donate to the campaign to buy Luna visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/chuf/lunathesnowdog or contact CHUF direct on 0191 281 3166 or @CHUFOfficial on Twitter.