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DENVER/July 9, 2018 – Morris Animal Foundation is pleased to announce that Deb Nash, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, is the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Volunteer of the Year. Nash was selected by her peers for all she does to help her fellow participants and their dogs in the study. She received her award at Morris Animal Foundation’s 70th Annual Celebration Dinner on Friday, June 22.

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the most extensive canine health investigation ever undertaken in veterinary medicine, gathering information on more than 3,000 golden retrievers, from around the country, throughout their lives, to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs. Study volunteers originally helped recruit participants and now manage its social media pages, provide a support network for participants, and raise funds for the $32 million study.

Even before Nash became an official volunteer in 2014, she helped recruit participants. Her colleagues say she has an incredible capacity for giving and continually encourages and supports other participants, even after a difficult year in 2017 when her son and three dogs died only weeks apart. One of those dogs, Zoe (Hero #257), was a member of the study. (All dogs in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study are identified as “Hero Dogs” and given a number, based on the order in which they registered).

As a professional embroiderer, she works with her four-person 3000 Cares volunteer team to make “Hero comfort blankets” and provide additional supporting services for study participants going through their own health or personal issues. Each blanket is embroidered with the Foundation’s name, the name of the study, and the study’s golden retriever logo and holds a pocket of “Golden Magic Fibers” donated by participants’ dogs.

“I love being a part of this incredible study. It has the capacity to do so much good for dogs everywhere,” said Nash. “This experience, with the study hero dogs and supporters’ community, is likely the most powerful influence I’ve had in my life.”

Outside of her work with the study, Nash provides embroidery and quilting services through her local Coonhound Creative Concepts business, is an Associate Faculty member (Project Management) with University of Phoenix, and has volunteered with Give Purrs A Chance, a local cat adoption café.

Launched in 2012, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study’s goal is to reveal risk factors that may lead to the development of four types of cancers common in golden retrievers – lymphoma and osteosarcoma, which are dramatically similar to the same cancers in humans, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumors.

Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is the largest nonprofit foundation in the world dedicated to funding studies to improve and protect the health of companion animals and wildlife. During the last 70 years, the Foundation has invested $118 million toward more than 2,600 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments and preventions to benefit animals worldwide.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at