DENVER/October 24, 2022 – Morris Animal Foundation announced today it is the designated recipient of funding from the Cathie Turner Sunbeam Fund for Hemangiosarcoma Research. The fund, established by friends and family of Cathie Turner, honors her lifelong passion for breeding, raising and showing golden retrievers.
Cathie, who passed away earlier this year, was an active advocate of the golden retriever since becoming involved with the breed in 1987. Of particular concern to Cathie was hemangiosarcoma, a deadly cancer common in golden retrievers. Her first golden retriever, Winston, died of the disease.
“We know how much Cathie would have loved to find answers to hemangiosarcoma,” said Cathie’s husband, Bill Turner. “Her passion in life was breeding sound and healthy golden retrievers.”
Golden retrievers are a breed with a high incidence of hemangiosarcoma compared to the general population of dogs. Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study – designed to identify the risk factors for cancer and other major diseases in dogs – supports this finding. The Study has been collecting annual prospective data on 3,000+ golden retrievers for 10 years, and the data to date clearly shows the leading cause of cancer deaths in the cohort of golden retrievers is hemangiosarcoma. In fact, 70% of all cancer-related deaths of Study dogs is caused by this disease.
“Like Cathie, we want to improve the health of golden retrievers and all dogs, and hemangiosarcoma is a major threat to that health,” said Kathy Tietje, Vice President of Scientific Operations at Morris Animal Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to the friends and family of Cathie who want to realize her dream of a breed free from hemangiosarcoma through funding targeted research at Morris Animal Foundation.”
Cathie’s Fund will support the discovery of better diagnostics and treatments for hemangiosarcoma in dogs through Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and through the Foundation’s upcoming Hemangiosarcoma Initiative, a multi-year focused funding initiative that will open up new research discovery pathways.
“The goal of Cathie’s Fund is to provide much-needed support for hemangiosarcoma research and find solutions for this disease in golden retrievers and other dogs,” said Bill Kamer, one of the architects of Cathie’s Fund. “Imagine if we could find biomarkers or other indicators of early disease. This would be a game changer for affected dogs, and for dog owners and veterinarians who are equally frustrated and devastated by this disease.”
To make a donation in support of hemangiosarcoma research, visit the Cathie Turner Sunbeam Fund for Hemangiosarcoma Research.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Founded in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, investing more than $149 million in nearly 3,000 critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
Media Contact: Kelly Diehl, DVM, Senior Director of Science Communications