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Cancer Affects Humans and Furkids Alike: Walk Program Helps You Fight Back

Friends and I were recently brought together to celebrate the life of a wonderful man. Though he had lived a full and loving life, it was cut short because of cancer. Looking around the room, I saw a friend who wept with tears because his mother is being treated for the same disease, and another friend who sat back sadly because her four-legged “child” had recently been diagnosed with this deadly disease.

Cancer is something we are never prepared for and we oftentimes lose hope. Each day we hear about organizations dedicated to fighting the cancers you and I may develop. Yet only a few organizations are helping our pets enjoy longer, healthier tomorrows. One of these is Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science to advance animal health.

Cancer ends the lives of more dogs than any other disease. More than 6 million dogs are diagnosed each year. Morris Animal Foundation has fought back by funding hundreds of cancer studies that have led to more effective treatments, better diagnostic tools and identification of genetic risk factors.

Many of our supporters have experienced the heartbreak of a “fur-kid” diagnosed with cancer and will participate in the upcoming Indy K9 Cancer Walk to benefit Morris Animal Foundation and its cancer research on September 13. This includes Becki and Frank Bradford from Indianapolis.

“Canine cancer has touched our lives for years, both personally and professionally,” says Becki. As owners of a professional pet sitting service, she and Frank have helped care for many pets with cancer. Along the way, they’ve celebrated health milestones and grieved with the families when the fight with cancer came to an end.

Becki and Frank first learned of canine cancer in 2003 when their Beagle, GirlDog, was diagnosed with an aggressive, subcutaneous mast cell tumor on the chest wall. GirlDog survived 10 months after diagnosis and surgery. Since then, the Bradfords have lost six beloved fur-kids, and each of them took a part of their hearts with them. 

The loss that affected Becki most profoundly was of her heart dog, Harvey, who was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in November 2008. He underwent a splenectomy and survived with an excellent quality of life for an additional seven months. 

“Harvey was and is my inspiration to educate myself about this deadly disease,” Becki says. “That’s when I found Morris Animal Foundation.”

After each diagnosis, Becki didn’t lose hope. She researched as much as she could about the particular cancer, treatment options and prognosis, and each time she would land on information about a study funded by Morris Animal Foundation.

“Frank and I believe that the work being done by Morris Animal Foundation is essential to finding earlier diagnoses, more effective treatments and, ultimately, cures that will benefit not only our companion animals, but people, too. They are offering us hope,” she says.

Every pet deserves a long, healthy life. Unfortunately this isn’t reality. But you can help provide a hopeful tomorrow for your pet by joining Becki and Frank in the fight against cancer.

Sign up today for the upcoming Indy K9 Cancer Walk on September 13. When you participate and fundraise for this walk, you help Morris Animal Foundation invest in science that will help prevent and treat cancer and other diseases in dogs.

And with your help, we will be one step closer in understanding this heartbreaking disease. 

By: Tina M. Martinez 

Categories: Pet health
August 28, 2014