Jefe Castaneda's Tumor Removal Fund

Hello Everyone, 
Unfortunately Jefe's recent trip to the vet this past Thursday (11/16/2017) we received some unfortunate news. "During his appointment, we performed a fine needle aspirate of Jefe's masses (tumors). A fine needle aspirate is like a microscopic biopsy. The goal is to obtain some cells to help make a diagnosis. We found the majority of his aspirates indicate the lumps are lipomas which are benign tumors of fat. The aspirate from the lump over his left hip had a small cluster of mast cells. Mast cells are part of the immune system and respond to alllergic reactions. They contain histamine which is released to help the body fight allergies. These cells can become cancerous and can lead to skin tumors containing large numbers of these cells. Mast cell tumors are the most common skin tumor in dogs.
Mast cell tumors have varying behavior. Some are more benign and others can have a more malignant behavior leading to spread of the cancer. Sometimes they can massively degranulate causing an anaphalactic reaction and even sudden death. Surgical removal of all of the lumps is recommended. With the aspirate being only a very small sample size, I think it is best to remove all of the lumps to ensure we remove any potentially cancerous masses. Removal will not only be
therapeutic, but we will learn a lot more about the growths. Biopsy results will help us determine if all of the potentially cancerous area was removed, how malignant the cells appear and more information about prognosis. Jefe's preanesthetic lab work indicates he should be a good candidate for anesthesia." -Dr. Holly Murdock; Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic

The high estimate of the surgery cost, medication, and follow up visit is $1950.00 and the recommendation is to have the procedure done as soon as possible. Obviously, and unfortunately, I do not have that amount of money to pay upfront, otherwise I would not ask.
If you know me, chances are it is very likely you know Jefe. He is the sweetest pup there is and we have been taking care of each other for 11 years. In so many ways he is my therapy dog and has protected me from all types of harm. 
When I had ankle reconstructive surgery two years ago he guarded my cast dutifully and we made it through that rough time with me on crutches in a new city on the other side of the country for gradudate school, unable to drive and unable to take him for proper walks (University of South Carolina; Sociology). 
One year later, December 2016, I had several grand-mal seizures, was diagnosed with seizure disorder; experienced a fatigue, memory loss, and confusion I had not known before, nor at all anticipated. Once again I couldn't drive and we could no longer make the journey to Starbucks for his puppucinos, but he still watched Netflix with me when my brain and body were too tired. 
This past summer I have no doubt in my mind that if I had not locked Jefe up in my room for the internet technician to install what was needed for wi-fi in my new apartment I would not have been sexually assaulted that day and subsequently have to file a police report. However, the threats to safety that many victims feel in their own homes after such incidents were lessened for me knowing that I had my protector there on alert, ready to bark and defend against any suspicious activity. 
In so many instances he has comforted me and brought great joy to those around him. He has the greatest smile as you can see in the pictures.
I understand that people may think, "well he is an older dog and this is what happens." He is 11 and otherwise healthy. If the tumors are removed and therefore controlled he can go on to live years more to play soccer with me, go to the beach, and protect me from monsters on the TV and real life. 
The tumor on his hip is large enough to cause him pain and decreased range of motion. My Jefe needs help and I hope that if you are able to donate you can help us out. I know that many people's lives have been turned upside down and are dealing with other disasters, such as Hurricanes. I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX and moved to Houston after undergrad so I am fully aware of the emotional and financial stress many people are currently going through; my own parents' house flooded during Hurricane Harvey and they are now displaced. My unexpected onset of seizure disorder came with unexpected financial costs as well, including uber rides when I had no other options, but if you can help me out with getting Jefe his surgery my heart will be eternally grateful. If you donate and the surgery cost is not met the funds will go to treating Jefe's pain and discomfort as well as keeping him as healthy as possible for as long as possible. 

-Natalie Castañeda
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    • $25 
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Natalie Castañeda 
Columbia, SC
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