2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Posts Tagged ‘chemotherapy’

Us In A Nutshell — Thanks, Chicago Tribune

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 11, 2012

Up Close and Personal — Melisa Kottmeier makes friends with Indy, one of two Great Pyrenees dogs owned by Luke Robinson, founder of the 2 Million Dogs organization, who spoke to dog owners at FYDO Land in Elgin about links between human and pet cancer. (photo by Darrell Goemaat)

The Chicago Tribune recently covered the story of 2 Million Dogs and did such a great job, we’d like to share it here in case you missed it.

“It’s [the article] not just about 2 Million Dogs.” says Executive Director Ginger Morgan, “It’s about how people live with cancer every day. By sharing this article you could be helping someone realize that they are not alone in their fight.”

The article was written by Amanda Marrazzo, Special to the Tribune. Photo credit is Darrell Goemaat, with the Chicago Tribune.

If you’d like to keep up with the work of 2 Million Dogs, you can set Google to do a Google Alert. How? Follow this link for simple directions.

Now, here’s the Chicago Tribune article …
October 10, 2012

When his beloved Great Pyrenees dog Malcolm died from bone cancer in 2004, Luke Robinson was sad and angry.

Adding to his loss: Nobody could tell him why.

“I didn’t even know dogs could get cancer,” Robinson said.

Beginning in 2008, Robinson and two of his other dogs, Murphy and Hudson, walked from his home in Texas to Boston to raise awareness about cancer in pets and links to human cancers as well. With stops and starts along the way, and Robinson and the dogs camping or staying with host families, the journey lasted more than two years.

“Somewhere on the cross-country walk I had this dream, this vision of taking the two dogs, walking 2,000 miles and making that into 2 million dogs,” he said.

And so his life’s mission was conceived. After the walk ended, the not-for-profit 2 Million Dogs was founded with the hope that eventually that number of canines and their owners will participate in walks to raise awareness and money to fund research to eradicate cancer from pets and people.

Humans share no direct genetic link with dogs, yet each dies from the same types of cancers in astronomical numbers, he said.

Sadly, Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer less than a month after arriving in Boston. He died a year and three days later.

Losing Murphy further strengthened his resolve.

“I think dogs are the canary in the coal mine,” he said. “I think that they hold the answer. They drink the same water we do, are exposed to the same air, environmental toxins. I can’t help to think since we don’t share a genetic link, there must be something in the environment.

“All the cancers we get, they are getting too,” he said. “And that is strange. … We share no evolutionary line with dogs. We don’t come from dogs and dogs don’t come from us.”

Robinson recently visited the Chicago area with Hudson and Indy, his newest “fuzzybutt,” on what he named the “Summer of Murphy Tour,” a cross-country journey in his van that he began in September.

He visited with local veterinary oncologists and met with dog lovers in Elgin and Schaumburg.

Robin Massey, owner of FYDO Land, dog day cares in Elgin and Huntley, said she was so moved by the mission at an event she attended last summer she became a co-chair of the local group.

“Unfortunately, being in the business I’m in, I have lost a lot of four-legged friends to cancer,” she said. “It’s not only about fighting cancer in canines, but about fighting cancer in everybody. It’s an all inclusive group.”

Since 2010, through events called Puppy-Up walks, 2 Million Dogs has raised $270,000, said Karyn Vasquez, a dog lover and member of the board of directors of the organization. About a third of the money goes to research, with the rest going toward education and awareness.

“For me, just letting people know that our companion animals really do get cancer is a huge step in the right direction,” said Vasquez, who lost her own dog, Chelios, to lymphoma on New Year’s Day 2010.

Last year the organization presented a $50,000 grant to Princeton University to fund the school’s study of canine mammary tumor development and progression.

“Mammary tumors are the most common tumors in intact female dogs,” she said. “In humans, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Mammary tumors in dogs and breast cancer in women have many similarities, both in terms of risk factors and biology.”

Interest in the mission has grown.

In 2010 there were Puppy-Up walks in 12 cities across the United States. In 2011, there were walks in 27 cities, and this year there are about 32. So far, about 3,000 dogs and their owners have participated, said Ginger Morgan, executive director of 2 Million Dogs.

“We are still looking for many dogs and their owners to help us in our fight against cancer,” Morgan said, encouraging owners to bring their dogs to a Nov. 3 walk in West Dundee.

“When we hit 2 million dogs, we will still continue walking. We’ll walk until we find a cure, until we can find out what is causing cancer and how we can prevent it.”

Heather Neal, of Aurora, like Robinson, also believes that cancers, as well as other ailments, in both humans and canines are caused by the environment we live in, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.

She owns Cadence, an 8-year-old standard poodle, who last year received treatment for osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy, the amputation of her right back leg, a switch to a raw food diet and a daily cocktail of herbal supplements, Cadence is doing much better and today is cancer-free.

“She is vibrant, full of life, energetic,” Neal said. “Being on three legs has not stopped her at all. She is like a tornado.”

Neal believes humans have a spiritual connection with their dogs, and that dogs are the key to unlocking the mysteries of cancer.

“They are more than just pets to us; they are a family member,” she said. “Let’s do what we can to cure (cancer). It will be good for dogs and human beings.”

Dr. Tiffany Leach, a veterinary oncologist who works at Specialty Vets in Buffalo Grove, said there are cancers that behave the same in humans and dogs, and there are also treatments that work on both human and dog cancers.

For example, sarcomas behave the same in children as they do in dogs, and there are medicines that can be used to treat both, Leach said.

“Vet oncology is so important to us because we can take a lot of the human cancers and get information to use for dog cancers,” she said.

As a resident at Purdue University she worked on a study of bladder cancer. It was found that the same treatments used for human bladder cancer were effective when used to treat bladder cancer in dogs.

It’s also been proved that pediatric osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, displays the same behaviors in children and dogs. And doctors are able to use the same treatments as veterinarians in treating it.

Leach also believes environmental factors play a role in canine and human cancers. But she also believes certain breeds tend to be prone to specific cancers. For example, she said, a Bernese mountain dog is prone to histiocytic sarcoma, an aggressive cancer that begins in the muscle tissue.

Leach herself knows firsthand the pain of dealing with cancer on more than one level. Her grandfather suffered with prostate cancer, which first led her to studying oncology along with veterinary medicine.

In 2005, she was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, or kidney cancer. Though she declined to go into detail about her health, she has gone through treatments and at least two surgeries, and simply said, “I’m handling it. I’m still able to go to work and lead a pretty normal life.”

Then there are her two beloved Irish wolfhounds, which each have dealt with their own cancers. Gideon, 6, had a soft-tissue sarcoma. The dog has had surgeries and radiation and is in remission. Jiggs, 9, was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a type of a bone cartilage tumor. Jiggs underwent surgery two months ago and seems to be in remission, she said.

All of these situations have confirmed that the profession she has chosen as her life’s work is exactly where she should be. She knows the struggles of cancer. She knows the heartache of a pet having a life-threatening disease. So when sitting with a pet owner and telling them their pet has cancer, she can honestly say she knows how they feel.

“You can at least genuinely say, ‘I’ve been through this and I understand,’ and you can really mean it on a level I couldn’t have had,” she said. “I’ve been lucky in that respect. I’m an undying optimist. I like to take the positive out of all of this.”

Robinson, meanwhile, is off to another city. His message is for all people, those with and without pets, and those who have or have not been affected by cancer.

“We are facing nature’s perfect enemy,” Robinson said. “No man, woman, child or companion animal is spared its killing field.”

A 2 Million Dog Puppy-Up will be held Nov. 3, at Randall Oaks Park, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Registration is 10 a.m., opening ceremonies at 11:15 a.m., and a two-mile walk steps off at 11:30 a.m. Closing ceremonies will be at 12:30 p.m.

Preregistration by Nov. 1 is $20 per person (under the age of 14 is free). Day of walk registration is $25 per person. No limit on the number of dogs.

Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations and must not be on a retractable leash.

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Posted in Events, Fundraiser, Puppy Up! Walks, Stories, Summer of Murphy Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Have You Forgotten Us?

Posted by Erich Trapp on August 8, 2012

Of the 91 beautiful faces in this year’s calendar contest, 14 haven’t even 1 single vote. Not even 1.

Update! Some very nice humans have gone in and voted for the dogs who had no votes. From all of them, we say Thank You!

Now EVERYONE has some votes.

They are:

Delilah Massmann

Dylan Lawfer

Fluffy House

Gordon McCarthy

Magic Ianello

Mikey Moran

Nemo Bridges

Nikita Marie Sue Beatty

Norton Forsyth

Oliver Malchow

Sunday DeBow

Tamaiijja Polcyn

Timber Spray

Jeopardy Kennedy Patzman

Thank you, and Puppy Up!

 

Posted in 2013 Calendar Contest | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One More Day!

Posted by Erich Trapp on August 8, 2012

“Still time to vote!”

Time’s almost up for this year’s Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down calendar contest voting.

But you still have until midnight Eastern to vote. (That’s 11 PM Central, 10 PM Mountain, and 9 PM Pacific.) Still plenty of time to vote for your favorite puppers. Please go here to vote.

When will we know who has won? Please give us some turn-around time to check all the numbers. But you can get a pretty good idea by clicking on the link above and keeping track of the totals.  We’ll post winners and all the totals to our blog here, and we’ll send the individual winners email notices.

If you have any burning questions, please email me at erich@2milliondogs.org.

Good luck! And thanks to everyone who participated.

 

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Featured Pup — Alenoush Sullivan

Posted by Erich Trapp on August 4, 2012

Alenoush Sullivan

Meet Alenoush Sullivan, one of our featured pups for the 2 Million Dogs’ 2013 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down calendar contest.

(by Gloria Sullivan) Alenoush came to live with us as a foster dog in August of 2010.  This poor old boy had been through some really rough times; he was malnourished, missing teeth, his ears had been cut, he had a chain imbedded in his neck,  was bitten by a snake, and was heartworm positive.

After taking him in, we knew right away that he was special.  Ally was the sweetest, gentlest soul, (his name even means “sweet white wave”); he wanted nothing more than to be next to us, enjoying the love we gave him. Last November, he was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma. We opted not to put him through chemo, given his heartworm history and age. We tried oral chemo, but the tumors spread rapidly and on January 4 of this year we lost our “sweet white wave.”  Even though he was not with us for long, he gave so much to us, and we are so grateful that we were able to give him what was probably the best year and a half of his life.

 

Voting continues through August 8th at midnight EDT. For more information, email erich@2milliondogs.org  To vote for these terrific puppers, please click on this link.   It will take you directly to the list of all the contestants. Click on the pup(s) of your choice. To vote, click on “Click here to donate” at the top of their page, just underneath the title.

Don’t miss out on your chance to share the excitement and put your favorite dog on this year’s “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” 2 Million Dogs’ calendar. Voting has been fast and furious, so don’t delay!

Proceeds from this year’s calendar will go to The Broad Institute, doing research in the genomics of canine cancer. Look for more details here.  Our 13 top winners will decide which of three studies we will fund: osteosarcomas, mass cell tumors, or lymphoma.

Every vote is a dollar well-spent, searching for the causes of cancer. We’re working with researchers investigating cancer through comparative oncology, and searching for ways to stop cancers before they start.

Please join us in making a difference — until Cancer. Touches. No one.

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Featured Pup — Abby Knoche

Posted by Erich Trapp on August 4, 2012

Abby Knoche.

Abby Knoche is one of our featured pups for the 2 Million Dogs’ 2013 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down calendar contest.

(by Nancy Knoche) We adopted Abby, an 8-year-old female Sheltie, in December 2009. She was our first dog. Her original owners never had her spayed and by May of 2010 she had developed breast cancer, something our vet warned us could happen when he spayed her. We spent the summer traveling 90 minutes to a veterinary oncologist every three weeks. Abby handled the chemo like a trooper and never lost her sweet disposition (or her hair!). After a short respite, the tumors returned in October. A radical mastectomy gave us more time to love her, and again she handled it all with unbelievable ease, greeting the trick-or-treaters at our door with a wagging tail the very day she came home from the vet’s. She even raised money for 2 Million Dogs, proudly wearing her “Puppy Up!” bandana around the neighborhood. We savored our winter months with her, but by April 2011 we knew it was time to let her go. She was such a fighter to the very end. We called her our big hairy bag of love. She will always be the dog of our hearts.

Alan & Nancy Knoche

Voting continues through August 8th at midnight EDT. For more information, email erich@2milliondogs.org  To vote for these terrific puppers, please click on this link.  It will take you directly to the list of all the contestants. Click on the pup(s) of your choice. To vote, click on “Click here to donate” at the top of their page, just underneath the title.

Don’t miss out on your chance to share the excitement and put your favorite dog on this year’s “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” 2 Million Dogs’ calendar. Voting has been fast and furious, so don’t delay!

 
Proceeds from this year’s calendar will go to The Broad Institute, doing research in the genomics of canine cancer. Look for more details here. Our 13 top winners will decide which of three studies we will fund: osteosarcoma, mass cell tumors, or lymphoma.

Every vote is a dollar well-spent, searching for the causes of cancer. We’re working with researchers investigating cancer through comparative oncology, and searching for ways to stop cancers before they start.

Please join us in making a difference — until, together we can say: Cancer. Touches. No one.

Posted in 2013 Calendar Contest | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What? Say it isn’t so!

Posted by Erich Trapp on July 31, 2012

What??? Some dogs have NO VOTES? That can’t be right. Are you trying to break my heart??

We have a terrific line-up of beautiful dogs this year, but I noticed there are at least 50 dogs who haven’t been voted for even once. Really? That can’t be right.

So I’m thinking, maybe everyone doesn’t have the right link for voting? So I’m posting it again. You only have until August the 8th at midnight EDT to rally the troops and get friends and family (and you) to vote for your pupper(s). If you have any questions about voting, please email me at erich@2milliondogs.org.

OK, here’s the link to the Fundraiser Directory.  You can keep track of the voting tallies there.

And here’s a fun little video about voting you can send to friends and family: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpFmhezokO0

Remember, votes are only $1.00 (starting at $5.00 and > in dollar increments thereafter). Your votes not only go towards your favorite pup but the money we raise will help fund one of three studies with The Broad Institute. Why is this important? Because, among other things, they are studying the genomics of some major canine cancers: lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma. In so many of the stories this year, these were three of the predominant cancers. Your voting dollars can contribute to helping find the causes of canine cancer.

The 13 dogs with the most votes not only win a month on the calendar (or the cover), but their people decide which of the three studies above 2 Million Dogs will help fund. You can’t get more direct involvement than that unless you’re the one holding the test tube!! Yes, your votes matter. Not only to these dogs, but to so many other pups stricken with cancer.

2 Million Dogs knows there are many organizations to which you can send your money. We appreciate your involvement with us. And there are many organizations looking to find cures, and that’s admirable too. But why not look at the causes of cancer, so fewer dogs have to suffer to begin with? Help us get to the heart of the matter.

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Help us fund the research that has the potential to find a way to stop it before it starts.

Thank you.

In case you’re in the mood for it, here’s a bit of geek for you:

Genetics scrutinizes the functioning and composition of the single gene whereas genomics addresses all genes and their inter relationships in order to identify their combined influence on the growth and development of the organism.

What’s the difference between genetics and genomics?

Genetics is the study of single genes and their effects. For example, Huntington’s or Tay-Sachs disease would be considered “genetics” because a single gene causes these diseases, despite environmental interactions.

Genomics is the study of all your genes including interactions of those genes with each other and with your environment. For example, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer would all be considered “genomics” because they are caused by genetic and environmental factors.

Posted in 2013 Calendar Contest, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Come Vote For Us!

Posted by Erich Trapp on July 28, 2012

“You betcha I’m going to vote. Now where did that cat put Mommy’s credit card?”

You cannot resist me. You must come and vote …

Some really nice (and very tired) man has posted ALL our stories and photos, and now it’s time for you to vote for us. There are a lot of us to look at and admire. We’ll make you laugh and cry, and inspire you with our fortitude and love. So, don’t just sit there. (Yeah, I see you.) Click on the link (after all, you have those fancy opposable thumbs) and start voting.

Sit. Stay. Until you’ve voted … every day.

Your voting dollars not only help choose the winning 13 puppers this year, but your dollars will help support funding research with The Broad Institute. That’s very important. Follow this link to find out why.

 

PS — Thank you. And puppy up!

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Voting is Live!

Posted by Erich Trapp on July 26, 2012

“I can’t wait to vote! Click here to see our cool video.”

Voting for the 2013 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down is now Live!

Here’s the link to take you to voting. Instructions are there.

Check out all the terrific contestants we have in this year’s calendar contest and go vote for your favorites! (Yes, that’s plural. Of course!)
Voting has been extended to August 8th, midnight EDT. So you have plenty of time to vote early and often.

Remember, your voting dollars will help decide the 13 winners of this year’s contest and proceeds will go to help fund a study with The Broad Institute.

THANKS to everyone who entered the contest. All your puppers are beautiful! Entries have now closed — but don’t forget to vote! Voting continues through August 8th at midnight EDT.

For more on the calendar, please visit our blog here.

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Featured Pup – Holly Villati

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 7, 2012

Holly Villati and a few of her toys.

From now until voting begins on July 1st, we’ll feature our calendar dog contestants. Today we’d like you to meet Holly.

(by Emily Villati)  Holly came to be part of our family on Thanksgiving Day.  Holly was a beautiful red-haired, hazel-eyed, pink-nosed Golden Retriever. Right away the whole family fell in love with her.

We live in a house with a large back yard in which Holly got into trouble many times as a puppy when she played in the mud. One second she was a red-haired angel; the next, she was a dirty little monster.  But how could we really get mad at such a cutie?  Holly was a swimmer – she couldn’t see a pool that she didn’t want to jump in. We are so fortunate to live in South Florida so Holly could swim all year round! Holly also loved car rides, especially when we went to pick up the kids from school. She also became a Canine Good Citizen, and we were all very proud of her!

Holly was so smart that she took no time to learn to go to the bathroom outside. However, there was one incident where my husband (who never took care of any animals in his life time) was watching Holly as I went to the grocery store.  Holly asked to go outside by scratching the door. He just thought she needed attention and continued watching T.V. She went on top of his shoe and peed inside as she looked at him. She had some aim, because not even one drop fell outside of the shoe. As for my husband – he knows when the other dogs scratch at the door to let them out.

We lost Holly to mast cell cancer, but she sure put up a fight! We took her to many chemotherapy sessions and she was a trooper, always with a smile on her face.  We never took one day with her for granted. She was an immense joy to be around. We miss her every day!

Holly is and always will be in our hearts.

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, Sisters and Brother

Emily, Holly’s mom adds:  We donated Holly’s blood to TGEN research. That was when I learned more about the research.  Since then I’ve been asking everyone I know to help by asking their vets to go on the TGEN website and donate the blood of dogs with cancer.

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“Cancer collaboration could someday help dogs and their humans”

Posted by Erich Trapp on May 9, 2012

When being treated for cancer, Jessy, Troyanskaya’s dog, brought the Princeton researcher and Sorenmo together, launching their ongoing research collaboration. (Photo copyright by Olga Troyanskaya)

“Cancer collaboration could someday help dogs and their humans”

An extensive article from Princeton University on collaborative work in comparative oncology. 2 Million Dogs’ recent contribution to Princeton’s work has helped further this critical research.

Thanks to all our supporters and sponsors whose continued support make contributions like this possible. Through work like this, we’re closer to finding the causes of cancer in companion animals and people.

From the article posted May 7, 2012 by Catherine Zandonella: “Through the work funded by 2 Million Dogs, Troyanskaya and her team hope to find gene expression patterns that govern the transformation of a tumor from a benign to malignant state, contribute to tumor growth and govern metastasis. The investigators anticipate that their studies will be a starting point for developing diagnostic methods that veterinarians and doctors can use to predict whether a newly discovered tumor will grow slowly or rapidly. They also hope to identify novel pathways that could serve as targets of new drugs to treat cancer.”

To read the entire article and see how your contributions are supporting this valuable research, please click on this link.

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