A personal campaign sponsored by Jessica Stephens
April 1, 2017 — June 30, 2017
I walk in memory of Enzo, our sweet Gordon Setter mix rescue, who succumbed to T-Cell Lymphoma last August. We honor Enzo’s legacy by raising money to help find a cure for pet cancer in the hopes that, one day, other animals - and their loving families - won’t have to experience what we went through and won’t have to say goodbye too soon, like we did.
You can help us fight pet cancer by making a donation (simply click the “Support Me” button above!) and by joining us for our Unite to Fight Pet Cancer Walk on Saturday, June 17, 2017. We'll be walking through NE Portland, gathering at 10am at Wilshire Park on NE 33rd Ave and Skidmore, then taking this route through the neighborhood.
It all started in January of last year, when we took our pup in for what we thought was a urinary tract infection. When you take your dog in on a Friday so they can run tests, and they call back Saturday morning asking you to come down in the next hour, you know something is up.
But, when you get to the vet and your happy, mostly healthy dog is licking everyone’s face, jumping up on the exam table and scarfing all the treats he’s given, it’s impossible to think that there’s anything really wrong with him. Then, the vet says that word - cancer - and your whole world shatters. The tears start and it’s hard to stop them, especially when your sensitive pooch gives you kisses to try and make you feel better.
After running a bunch of tests and taking some x-rays, we were given the confirmed diagnosis only a few hours later and were immediately off to meet with an oncologist to find out how to treat this scary disease and help our pooch beat this.
Our devastation only deepened when the oncologist told us that Enzo’s type of cancer couldn't be cured; he could be treated and we could maybe get another 6 to 9 months with him, but this cancer - T-Cell Lymphoma - was incurable.
After crying all afternoon, I got mad. I got mad that even after putting all kinds of harsh chemicals in him, we wouldn’t be able to save him. I got mad that he hadn’t had a long enough life - he wasn’t even 5 years old yet. I got mad for all the things we hadn’t had a chance to do with him yet. I got mad.
Then, after wading through our sorrow and anger, we contacted a local naturopathic vet to try some alternative therapies in conjunction with the aggressive chemo treatment. We changed up Enzo’s diet, started him on lots of supplements and doggie acupuncture, and started the weekly chemo treatments.
Once we had his medical treatments lined up, we made a list of things we wanted Enzo to experience - and things we wanted to experience with him. We rented an RV and took him on a West Coast road trip - which left us all with ridiculously happy memories. We took him snow-shoeing, camping and hiking. He spent lots of quality time with his favorite doggie friends and our family, and made a new best friend - Dr. Keith Weingardt, his naturopathic vet.
We also participated in last year’s Morris Animal Foundation Unite to Fight Pet Cancer Walk, letting Enzo take our friends and family on a walk through NE Portland to raise much needed funds to help find a cure for cancer.
Enzo was an amazing patient, always happy to go see his doctor friends and always wiling to take whatever pill or supplement we put in front of him. He fought valiantly until August 9, 2016. It still brings me to tears to think about his last day; his death left a huge whole in our hearts, but it also left us with a legacy. Enzo’s legacy is to help make sure other pets don’t have to go through the pain he went through, and we honor that legacy by once again walking to raise awareness about pet cancer and raise money for Morris Animal Foundation to help find a cure.
I hope you’ll honor Enzo’s memory with a donation to help us reach our ambitious goal of $5,000 for this year’s walk. Join us in this fight to help end pet cancer and walk with us in memory of Enzo; I know his spirit will be walking right beside us on June 17, and I hope you will too.
Morris Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports science that makes the world a brighter place for animals and those who love them (like me). As the global leader in animal health, Morris Animal Foundation provides funding that helps more species in more places than that of any other organization in the world, and has invested more than $113 million toward 2,500+ studies since its founding in 1948.