Leslie Brancheau, 73, heart attack and stroke survivor, lives alone with Lucy, a magnificent German Shepherd who has guarded and protected Leslie for every moment of their eight and a half years together.
Soon they will lose each other. For Lucy has a deadly cancer that will tear her away from Leslie in two or three months, unless she receives treatment.
Leslie is retired on a fixed income, and if it weren’t for the generosity of her family and her veterinarian, Leslie would already have lost her beloved companion and lifeline. Two weeks ago, Lucy’s abdomen filled with blood. The emergency room vet found a ruptured tumor on Lucy’s spleen. Without surgery, he said, Lucy would die from blood loss before the morning. He recommended immediate euthanasia.
Leslie took Lucy home and scheduled euthanasia for the next morning. That night, their friends and family gathered to say goodbye. But after a long night of hugs, cuddles and buckets of tears, Lucy was still there to greet Leslie in the morning. Lucy wouldn't give up. How could Leslie? Lucy helped nurse Leslie back to health, and it was now Leslie's turn to fight to keep Lucy alive. She cancelled the euthanasia appointment.
That afternoon, Lucy’s spleen and a baseball-sized tumor were removed by wonderful vets at Mission Animal Hospital, who offer reduced rates for pet owners with limited means. But the cancer, hemangiosarcoma, travels in the blood and always comes back. Soon, new tumors will grow in Lucy’s liver, heart and abdomen. In 2 or 3 months, the tumors will start to burst and Lucy will die of blood loss. Lucy lives, but not for long.
Unless she gets treatment.
Dogs that receive chemotherapy in combination with a mushroom extract proven against cancer will live six to nine months instead of two or three; some dogs survive for even a year or more. Lucy is strong and healthy now and doesn’t have any new tumors yet. The sooner treatment begins the more time Lucy and Leslie will have together. Luckily, the chemo used with this type of cancer doesn't make dogs sick, so every extra day we can give Lucy will be a quality day she and Leslie can spend together.
Please help keep these two - a wonderful and wise woman and her loyal and loving shepherd - together for as long as possible. Despite fragile health, Leslie has taken a job to bring in more funds, but she needs your help. Lucy and Leslie need each other. Please help keep them together.
Leslie and Lucy will be so very grateful for every extra day that we can give them.
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