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April 20, 2023 – As Genell Bogner chats on Zoom, you can’t miss the dog show ribbons covering the wall behind her won by Frankie, Hero #2230 in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Big in life and even bigger in heart, Frankie was a star. But that wasn’t enough to protect her from becoming a victim of hemangiosarcoma, the leading cause of death in the Study.

And, while Frankie may be gone, Genell is still hard at work in the fight against this terrible disease.

After she enrolled Frankie in the Study, it didn’t take long for Genell to jump headfirst into the community of participant owners and supporters. Genell is one of the creators of the comfort blankets available to Study participants – using her “golden magical fibers” – and she’s involved in making ribbon cards when a Hero passes.

When Frankie was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, Genell came up with a special fundraising idea. Frankie had a mermaid costume and for a small donation, supporters could become a member of Frankie’s mermaid squad and get a special bow. For Genell’s ongoing support, she was named Volunteer of the Quarter in July 2022.

Genell has high hopes for the data collected as part of the Study and how it will help dogs, and maybe even people, beat cancer.

“That’s what research is, isn’t it,” said Genell. “Giving scientists the information they need to follow trails to learn the truth.”