Unfortunately, cancer is responsible for taking countless lives; yet, many people seem oblivious to the fact that our pets can also suffer from it. After the overwhelming heartbreak of losing their beloved dogs, two commercial dog walkers from Canada, Kelly Manis and Lorrie Holmes, have set their hearts on organizing a national annual walk that will serve not only to raise awareness of dog cancer, but also as a fundraiser with the aim to raise enough money for research.
Manis and Holmes, after much dedication and effort, decided it was best to team up with Suzie Beber, the head of the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund. Together, they all managed to launch the first ever Walk to End Canine Cancer back in 2012, and, to their surprise, began a tradition that has since raised 1.6 million dollars.
Beber herself underwent the heartbreaking death of her Blues, a Golden Retriever, who lost the battle to the lymphoma that had developed in her body. Blues had previously aided Beber when she herself struggled with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and was by her side through every surgery and step to recovery. After her painful passing, Beber became inspired and determined to create the cancer fund that would eventually raise a vast amount of money for clinical trails.
Beber’s Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund has now also teamed up with their local Ontario Veterinary College as an attempt to conduct more precise clinical trials with the hopes of putting an end or finding a cure to the deadly disease. Together they have already conducted 20 different trials and aim to continue with many more.
If you happen to be nearby, consider attending the 5th annual walk, which will take place in Toronto on Saturday, September 24th at the Kew Beach Gardens and will be consisting of a short 4km walk along the boardwalk. Dogs and humans alike can join the walk and help raise awareness for the disease that has taken the lives of so many before. For donations, please visit http://uofg.convio.net/donatetoronto.