When Mike Aquilina heard about the albino pink belly turtle with an exposed heart in 2018, he knew he had to take her in. With no shell protecting her little heart, sweet Hope had a rough start at life, and the odds were stacked against her. But, Mike refused to let that be the end of her story.
When he first brought her home, Mike says Hope was so tiny, about the size of a coin and he had to care for her around the clock. He fed her using the smallest tongs and watched her tank closely to ensure her water was clean so that there was no chance it could complicate her already delicate condition.
It didn’t take long for Hope to get to know Mike and the two quickly created a unique bond. In fact, Mike told In The Know, “Hope has impacted my life in so many ways, it actually makes me emotional.”
It’s no wonder he’s so emotional over her; he spent a lot of days wondering if she’d be okay, if she’d make it. He put all of his efforts into saving her life and helping her grow. It has paid off, though, because two years later and she’s as strong as ever and growing beautifully.
Hope’s story has not only changed Mike’s life but it’s inspired so many people all over the world. In fact, she’s so popular that Abominable Toys partnered with Mike to create Hope merchandise!
The pins and plush toys are so adorable that they’re worth buying in general, but what makes them even better is that Mike is donating profits to the Turtle Conservancy and Make A Wish organizations. Mike’s wish is that Hope serves as a reminder to people that “every life matters no matter how big or small.”
You can learn more about Hope in the video below, and remember to share her story with your friends to help spread Mike’s message!
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