Magdalena – A Profile in Courage and Compassion


This is Magdalena’s story – a story you may have heard, but one that is well worth retelling.  Retired from racing, Magdalena was not your ordinary greyhound.  She is remembered today as a true representation of compassion, care, and paying it forward. 

Adopted by her loving owners, Diane Foster and Bob Chaney, Magdalena came to the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) in April 2011 as a severely ill patient with many questions and not many answers.  Within just 24 hours of evaluating her condition, Dr. Michael Reese, a neurology resident at the time, was able to properly diagnose her with meningitis.  This disease is typically fatal, with an expectancy of only 6-12 months of life following diagnosis.  Thanks to the excellent team at the VTH, Magdalena lived a quality life for four-and-a-half years beyond that mark!

Diane and Bob were so pleased with the care Magdalena had received and the compassion shown to them directly, they decided to establish an endowment fund within the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to help provide financial assistance to pet owners.  Their gift of $25,000 created the Magdalena Fund for Ill and Injured Animals that over the years has helped nearly 20 owners afford the needed treatment for their beloved pets.  Their gift establishing this fund is a reminder and gesture that reflects the kindness shown to them as clients.  “We saw many families and owners come in with their sweet pets who didn’t have the means to pay for their medical treatment, but they found a way… we want to give back and help pay it forward to everyone who loves their animals and wants nothing but the best for them.”

Sadly, this February, Magdalena passed away just shy of her eleventh birthday.  It was a loss felt not only within Magdalena’s family, but throughout the entire Purdue Veterinary Medicine community.  We are delighted that her memory will live on by assisting clients and their pets.  Our hearts go out to Magdalena's family, including Diane and Bob, as well as Magdalena’s three canine siblings. 

Thank you Magdalena, Diane and Bob for exemplifying compassion, care, and paying it forward.

Dr. Michael Reese with Magdalena in 2013
Dr. Michael Reese with Magdalena in 2013.

If you would like to contribute to the Magdalena Financial Assistance for Pet Owners Fund in order to help owners who need assistance to afford appropriate treatment for their pets, click here to make a gift on-line, or contact the Advancement Office at 765-494-6304.

A special thank you also is in order for the Purdue VTH team that cared for Magdalena.  We are pleased to share that Dr. Reese went on to complete his residency and became board certified in neurology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  After graduation, he accepted a position as a veterinary neurologist at the Specialized Veterinary Service in Fort Myers, Fla.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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