Canine Related Fundraisers Support PVM Canine Cancer Research

Nick Sparks of Nashville, Tenn. is an active canine agility judge and his Sheltie, Fiona, is a multiple national title holder in canine agility.  Together, they even have hosted a national TV show on canine agility. However, in 2015, Fiona’s career was nearly put on-hold when she was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer. Nick received a recommendation to bring Fiona to Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Dolores L. McCall Professor of Comparative Oncology Deborah Knapp, who is co-section head of oncology in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) and director of the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program (PCOP). When Fiona had her first appointment at the VTH, she was within days or weeks of passing. She had surgery immediately and continued chemotherapy.  One month later, Fiona was participating again in agility competitions, and in March 2016 she finished her Century Standard title in the American Kennel Club (AKC).  As a “Thank You” to Dr. Knapp and PVM’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Nick hosted a fundraiser to help with research on finding a cure for canine bladder cancer. For Fiona’s 10th birthday on April 26, 2016, a GoFundMe page was set up and $2,846.13 was raised to help Dr. Knapp’s bladder cancer research.

2016 also marked the tenth year that dog lovers have gathered in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., to walk with their canine companions in memory of a dog named Mickey and support Purdue Veterinary Medicine canine cancer research. On Saturday, June 11, the Mickey’s Mile Dog Walk for Canine Cancer Research raised $5,363, bringing the total amount raised over the walk’s ten-year span to more than $55,000.  Camille Vassari has been organizing Mickey’s Mile as a tribute to her West Highland Terrier, Mickey, since 2007. Mickey was ten years old when cancer claimed his life, inspiring Camille to start the walk to raise awareness and funds around Mickey’s birthday, May 26.


This story is part of the 2016 Annual PVM Report.

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