Help Save Samuel’s Leg

Samuel is a happy energetic six-year-old dog who loves to hike and play Frisbee. Samuel lives in Yosemite with his wonderful humans (park ranger Ryan and school teacher Patsy who adopted him from a rescue center when he was ten months old), and his furry brother “Little Sammy”. A few months ago, Samuel’s humans noticed a lump on his front left leg. Hoping it was only a fatty lump, his humans took him to the vet just to be sure. The vet was concerned that the growth could be soft tissue sarcoma (a kind of cancer) and removed the growth. The biopsy came back positive. Samuel was diagnosed with Grade 1 soft tissue sarcoma – a type of cancer that is not likely to metastasize but is highly aggressive in the local area. Once removed, the chances that it would return were 40-50 percent.

Not more than a month later, Samuel’s cancer was back. This time the tumor was growing at a much faster rate. With this development, Samuel’s cancer was no longer treatable at the family vet in rural California and he was referred to the University of California, Davis’ Small Animal Veterinary Hospital. Here Samuel’s humans were given two options for treating this aggressive cancer. Option 1: Wait for the cancer to invade Samuel’s bones and ligaments to the point that his leg is uncomfortable and he will no longer place much weight on it, then amputate the leg. Option 2: Bring Samuel back to UC Davis where a board-certified surgeon would remove the new growth and follow up with 15 radiation treatments over a three-week period. This option would minimize the possibility of the growth returning while allowing Samuel to keep his leg. The chance of success with this option is greater than 90%.

The downside of Option 2 is cost. It involves a $7,000 surgery and $8,000 in radiation treatments and it will take many trips with his humans (eight hours round trip). Samuel’s humans simply don’t have the necessary money to fund Option 2. With amputation (the more affordable option), Samuel will be limited to 30 minute walks for the rest of his life to preserve his joints for as long as possible. No more of the things that give him the most joy in life – hiking 15-20 miles at a time, and playing Frisbee. This would be a hard reality for Samuel and his humans to adjust to.

Samuel is an exceptional being and his heart beats strongly for love and adventure. Samuel is the world to his humans Patsy and Ryan. It was love at first sight when Patsy went to the rescue center to meet Samuel, who immediately put his paw on Patsy's lap and stole her heart.  This fundraiser is in the hope that the generosity of others will enable Samuel to continue to enjoy a long and adventurous four-legged life in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his humans who would do anything for him.
  • Sean Jacobs 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
  • Angie Trammel 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 45 mos
  • Patricia Rice 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • David Miyako 
    • $20 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Caitlin Lee-Roney 
Organizer
Yosemite Valley, CA
Patsy Fulhorst 
Beneficiary
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