December 10, 2008

Make A Wish donates snake cages

A North Carolina teenager with bone cancer received an unusual gift Wednesday from the Make A Wish Foundation -- new cages for her snakes.

The foundation handed over the cages to Elizabeth Mize, 16, of Angier at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, The Raleigh News & Observer reported.

The cages, 6 feet high, have lights and heat. The foundation also supplied rocks and plants the teen can use to make her pets feel at home.

The foundation, which grants wishes for children with serious diseases, is more used to requests for trips to Disney World or meetings with sports stars and pop idols.

Elizabeth acquired her first snake at the age of 14 and has been collecting them ever since. She now has 12 snakes, eight lizards and two turtles and also breeds rats and mice to feed the snakes.

A year ago, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Her parents told NBC17 that the reptiles have been therapeutic during her illness.

While Elizabeth cares for her pets most of the time, relatives have to help out when she is hospitalized. That is not a major problem, since many family members also keep reptiles.