A 7-year-old dog lover is fighting a rare cancer. People from around the world sent her 80,000 pictures of their pups

Emma Mertens received more than 80,000 pictures of dogs along with letters from around the world as she fights a rare cancer.

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(CNN)Emma Mertens giggles and her face lights up every time she looks at a picture of a dog. It's a good thing she feels that way because she's got 80,000 of them to look at -- with more pouring in by the minute.

Family and friends had an idea a month ago to send the 7-year-old Wisconsin girl cute pics of their pups with well wishes as though they were penned by their doggies.
    They hoped it would cheer up Emma and her family after learning she has a rare form of brain cancer - one that has no cure. But no one expected what would happen next.
    One of 80,000 dog photos sent to Emma Mertens from pet owners worldwide. This one's name is Ginger.

    The world got wind of the plan

    Within days, what was just a friends-and-family project went global.
    "It got posted onto Facebook a couple of times. Next thing you know it went viral," her dad, Geoff Mertens, told CNN.
    "Some reality TV star from New Jersey shared it on her Instagram page - The Real Housewives of New Jersey," he said.
    "Don't ask me who. I've never seen it but I'm sure she's just a big dog lover. Then (practically) every dog site's Instagram page in the country shared it," he said.
    He told CNN Emma has gotten letters from as far away as Japan, Australia and Venezuela.