Jerry's surgery

Update:  We have closed our fund raising efforts.  Unfortunantely, Jerry had complications and he passed away tonight, Wed. July 26th.   We were with him.  Please see the last entry in the "updates" section for more details.  We are sorry that Jerry's story is ending this way.   Sincerely, Cheryl and John

We need your help for a life saving surgery and chemotherpy for our adoptive dog, Jerry,  that we cannot afford.   Jerry was diaganosised with a Insulinoma ( a type of cancer ) on his Pancreas on Tuesday, May 30th 2017.  Our Jerr Bear, Jerritold, Jerimander, Jerrand is a 6 yrs old Hound mix with a bark only we can love.  For those of you who have a hound, you know what we mean!  He loves to chew on balls ( and consume if he had his way ) , nap butt to butt with our other dog Violet, roll on his back in the grass,  track smells on walks,  and steal food out of our hands.  Most recently, a whole banana, peel and all!  He's a real cuddle bug and loves getting scratched on his belly.

We adopted Jerry a year and 8 months ago from our fantastic local animal shelter, FAAS,  in Alameda CA.

Jerry was in the shelter for 8 months due to mutiple health problems that FAAS was working hard to resolve.    When we found out that he was at the shelter for that long, we had to adopt him.   He won over many hearts and there were hugs and tears when we came to adopt him.
We continued to care for his health issues for the next 6 months after adoption.   We gave him a medicated baths every 3 days for his skin condition, treated his ear infection, and tried different foods for his food sensitivities.  All of which Jerry has completely recovered.  

We thought we got through the worst of it -- then he started having "episodes".   We didn't know at first what they were.  He would just fall over  as we were walking him.  The first time it happened, we were camping in the mountains last September.   We thought he ate something poisonious, drank some bad water, or got bit by a rattlesnake.   We returned home and the symptoms went away.  We consulted with our vet, and she advised us to bring him in if it happens again.  

Several months went by before the symptoms returned.   Falling over, eyes and legs twitching, fatigue.  The episodes continued for a few days, and went away again.  This is when we begain the long process of testing, seeing specialists, ruling things out,  and more testing.   It was concluded that his episodes were seisures from Hypoglycemia,  most likely caused by an Insulinoma.  

In the last few weeks, his symptoms worsend.  We got an ultrasound of his Pancreas, and the diagnosis was confirmed.  They found a tumor on the left side of the Pancreas.  The good news It's operable.  The tumor is in a very good location to remove.   Surgery and chemotherapy is the recommended treatment,  but needs to be done as soon as possible.  We are managing his symptoms with frequent, small meals ( a snack every 4 hours -- including at 1 and 5 am ), a corticosteroid, and an anticonvulsive medication. While the medication is helping his symptoms,  the tumor is continuing to grow.  

 Without surgery, we can continue on his medication for  the hypoglycemia, until his seisures worsen and are not controlable.   We don't know how long that will be -- most likely, as little as a few months.  

Surgery will give Jerry a much longer life expectancy, especially with chemotherapy.  Most likely,  another 2 -3 years.  With the surgery, we will also be able to determine what stage of the cancer, and if it has spread.   The surgery is not a cure, but we feel Jerry has a lot more life to live and the surgery, recovery and follow up treatment will be worth it.  

The surgery would be done by Dr. Carlson at BAVS in San Leandro, CA.  They are a speciality hospital that helps dogs and cats like Jerry.

This comes at a really bad time for us.  We just moved to a new apartment, due our landlords selling the property where we were renting for the last 10 years.  We are now paying 50% more in rent!   We are both working  our landscaping business, but with the big hike in rent, previous debt, and the cost of living in the Bay Area, we just don't have the funds to cover all of his surgery and chemotherapy.   
We are devastated  after learning of Jerry's cancer, and the fact that we can't afford all the costs of surgery and post treatment are heart breaking to us.  

Your donation will allow us to get the surgery and chemotherapy for Jerry,  and offer him  most likely 2-3 more years of chewing up balls and cuddling up with us on the couch.  

We appreciate anything you can afford to donate, and please share our story with your friends and family.   Spreading the word will make all the difference in our campaign to raise the funds needed for our Jerr Bear.  

We thank you in advance for your help!

Sincerely, Cheryl and John


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Cheryl Hawkins 
Alameda, CA
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