Save the Duke...Cancer Surgery

This is the story of, Duke, my faithful companion and best friend, who is now facing surgery to save his life. My Duke has always gotten the greatest care, his needs put before my own. Though this time, I cannot do it alone. 

It all started the last weekend in August, when I had set up a vet visit in preparation to buy him health insurance. We did a full blood work up and took X-rays out of an abundance of caution. A few days later I got a call I never expected. They found a tumor, and was told it could only mean one thing....Lung cancer. I was devastated. They shipped us off to a specialist immediately. Needless to say, the insurance was no longer an option.

I was certain that the news would be grim and was paralyzed with grief thinking our time together was coming to an abrupt end. But the onocologist had hope. The Duke is a strong dog, still a healthy dog, full of life and not yet weakening from the disease. In fact, the vet said there was a chance the lung tumor isn't even cancerous. But one thing is for certain, it has to go. And immediately. Waiting more than a week for surgery was not recommended. Waiting 2 weeks, was delaying it too long.

The vet's prognosis: even in the worst case scenario, with an advanced cancerous tumor, surgery should give him at least another year and a half of life to enjoy before troubles begin again. There's also the chance surgery cures him altogether! And though we will only know after the operation, they could find it's benign and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

There is no other treatment though. It's immediate surgery or Duke will be gone within 2 months. And payment in full is due the day of surgery on Friday. Friday the 5th of September. 

I've spent the last few years of my life volunteering full time for an animal rescue, taking on the role of Communications Director. I worked tirelessly, day and night, to save animals in need. I was given the responsibility to represent the biggest shelter of its kind in the south east, and took that responsibility to heart, knowing that each hour I worked, the more lives were saved. But in having given all that time, my only payment was in the joy that came from every animal rescued and every donation the organization received. The sad irony is, It's left me unable to rescue my own dearest friend. 

Those that know me, know how important the Duke dog is to me. He has his very own fan base thanks to his antics and my incessant posting of his stories and pictures. They grieve along with me, and encouraged me to start a campaign to help raise the money needed for his care.

For those that don't know me and the Duke, there really are no words to describe the role he has taken in my life and the love that's shared. He is more than my friend and constant companion, he is my family. Perhaps others like myself, those who have no children of their own, those who have made their four legged friends, family, will understand. And maybe some of them will be in a position to help.

I feel it important to say that this is not a desperate attempt to prolong the life of a dog who is suffering. If that were the case, I would not be here. This difficult decision was made after Duke's oncologist assured me it was the right thing to do. He is confident that Duke can have a long, pain free life after his procedure, and says he would never have suggested it otherwise. 

Anyone who is considering helping, but who have questions, is welcomed to get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to supply more details, send proof of receipts and information about his caring physicians. I also invite those wanting to verify the above and the charges we face, to contact his primary vet or the cancer center performing his surgery on Friday. Not knowing the full price of his treatment, I set the fundraiser for the minimum we likely face. With his testing last week ($1000) and upcoming surgery (an estimated minumum of $3,400) we are certain of a bare minumum or $4,400 before he even begins recuperating. There will be many hundreds more needed for his post-opt care, and then the big unknown cost of aftercare treatment which will consist of regular check ups, X-rays or ultrasounds and potential chemo or radiation. 

Any amount given will help chip away at the debt and help me afford his continuing care. And every bit given will receive my most sincere appreciation. 

I thank you all for reading about my Duke. Please keep in him in your thoughts
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Organizer

Johna Mennone 
Organizer
Kennesaw, GA
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