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DENVER/Feb. 28, 2024 – Thanks to a generous donation by long-time Morris Animal Foundation supporter Nan Stuart, the Foundation’s Hemangiosarcoma Initiative can fund more studies to improve the odds for dogs suffering from this deadly cancer.  

“I’ve lost five dogs to hemangiosarcoma,” Stuart said. “I recently lost my wonderful golden girl, Koaster, to this terrible cancer. When I heard about the new Hemangiosarcoma Initiative, I thought, ‘That’s where I want to put my donation.’ We need the best minds working on this problem.”  

Stuart has been a pet parent of golden retrievers for decades and is passionate about improving the breed's health. She enrolled seven sibling puppies, including Koaster, in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and has participated in the Foundation’s Golden Oldies project. Nan’s also been active in other studies aimed at helping the breed.  

Hemangiosarcoma is one of the deadliest forms of canine cancer and has a predilection for growth in blood-rich areas of the body. Tumors can suddenly rupture, causing massive blood loss and forcing owners and veterinarians to make difficult decisions within minutes of diagnosis. Mortality is 90% at one year post-diagnosis, and few dogs survive long-term, even with treatment. Hemangiosarcoma is the leading cause of cancer death in dogs enrolled in the Study.  

“Investing in hemangiosarcoma research is a critical stride toward understanding and combating this devastating disease,” said Ryan Welch, Morris Animal Foundation Interim President and CEO. “Through collective efforts and generous support from donors like Nan, we strive to improve the lives of our canine companions and advance veterinary medicine.”  

“Goldens are so intelligent and so intuitive,” Stuart added. “They know when someone needs them. I’ve learned so much about life from my golden retrievers. Perhaps they can teach us about cancer, too.”

Morris Animal Foundation’s Hemangiosarcoma Initiative was launched in October 2022 and is a multi-million-dollar research initiative focused on advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of hemangiosarcoma.  

About Morris Animal Foundation    
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding nearly $160 million in more than 3,000 critical animal health studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at

Media ContactAnnie Mehl