Young sisters with terminal illnesses surf with help of a dog

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SAN DIEGO – Some San Diego children with debilitating illnesses accomplished what many would consider impossible – and they did it with a dog by their side.

Local children with terminal illnesses and spinal muscular atrophy spent Tuesday morning surfing at La Jolla Shores with Ricochet, the world-famous surf dog.

The surf event was hosted by Cure SMA with intent to bring awareness to spinal muscular atrophy.

Two sisters, 5-year-old Riley and 4-year-old Bailey, were diagnosed with SMA. Both took to the water and surfed.

Their mother Joanna Sommerville and husband had been told by doctors that their daughters would not be able to do what most children are capable of doing. That didn't stop them from finding adventures for their girls.

"When someone at first says your child can't do something and then they do it – it's just awesome," Sommerville said. "I don't really think I can put the feeling into words."

FOX 5 Photojournalist Josh Jenkins

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