Lily's Fight Against Cancer

Lily's 6th Birthday (May 1st, 2017) was not spent celebrating with doggie friends and happy birthday treats, as they usually are. Instead, we knew something wasn't right with our sweet girl. We made an emergency vet appointment and learned that Lily has stage 5 T-Cell Lymphoma. X-rays revealed a large mass in her chest cavity surrounded by excessive amounts of fluid making it very difficult for her breath. We were completely shocked! Everything seemed to come on so sudden. To go from thinking we have a healthy 6-year-old lab to a lab with stage 5 cancer (didn't even realize stage 5 existed!) put us in complete shock. I don't even know how to describe all of the emotions that were running through me...this is my girl, we do everything together (literally), she is only 6 years old. We are also expecting our first child in November so this, of course, brought on a whole new set of emotions. Without treatment, we were told that Lily would live maybe 2 weeks. The visions I had of my future daughter and the greatest dog in the world being best friends and playing together in the yard quickly vanished. The thought of my daughter missing out on knowing this amazing love-bug absolutely broke me inside. We couldn't just do nothing. This dog is beyond special and has given so much back to her community. I have to fight for her. 

We have been dog fosters for The Animal Refuge League for a few years now. We have welcomed over 30 dogs into our home. Lily is amazing with these dogs. Some dogs come from terrible situations and need to learn how to trust again and how to appropriately socialize with other dogs. Lily has been the mentor, friend, and loyal companion through every dog's transformation. It's such a beautiful thing to witness. Lily is also certified to go into schools and nursing homes. She has helped struggling readers during literacy nights and summer school by providing lots of snuggles and listening ears while they read to her. She also brings a huge smile and lots of love and comfort to the elderly residents in nursing homes that miss their own dogs. This dog is full of pure love...not just for me but for everyone and everything that enters her life. 

Lily has already received a round of chemo. The odds of her responding so well were heavily stacked against her (with her cancer already being stage 5). But she miraculously responded extremely well! Her oncologist was completely amazed to see her go from stage 5 (2 weeks to live) to completely cancer free! Throughout all of her cancer treatments, she has felt amazing. I was so worried that the chemo would make her sick and miserable and she wouldn't be the Lily that we know and love...but the exact opposite happens! She's full of energy and feeling great. She is young with a very strong immune system which helps her respond so positively to treatments. 

However, unfortunately, she has fallen out of remission. Without treatment, once again, her lymphoma will take over quickly giving her about 2 weeks to live. We did a rescue treatment for dogs who fall out of remission and so far she has been responding extremely well. Once again, she is acting and looking like the Lily we know and love. You would never know this dog has cancer! But we know that this will be short if we don't do something. We could continue to experiment with different chemo treatments but her oncologist informed us that there is only about a 20% chance her body will respond to it. At this point, the only real chance we have of her body going into remission is to treat her with the first FDA conditionally approved lymphoma treatment for dogs: TANOVEA-CA1. TANOVEA-CA1 is designed to target lymphoma cells and attack them and accumulates in rapidly dividing lymphoma cells and causes those cells to die. This treatment has worked extremely well for dogs who stopped responding to conventional chemotherapy...which is why Lily still has a fighting chance!

This is also why we are asking for your help, your donations, & your prayers. We want to try this treatment on Lily. She has so much love left to give to her community. I feel silly and rather awkward asking for donations. This dog means the world to me and I would honestly spend everything I have to save her (which is, quite honestly, what I have been doing with all of her treatments). But I know that is very irresponsible, especially with a baby joining our family in November. But I can't give up on her. I had to create this page (and buckle through the awkwardness of asking for donations) to make sure I do absolutely everything I can to save her. The thought of giving up on her because of financial treatment costs is something I will never be able to live with or forgive myself for. 

So if you are a huge animal lover and this story has touched your heart in any way please consider making a donation to Lily's Fight Against Lymphoma Fund. She is meant to continue to be in this continue helping and teaching shelter dogs, to continue bringing comfort and love to the elderly in nursing homes, and to continue to provide a non-judgemental environment for struggling readers. And lastly, on a very personal note, (something that is so tough for me to type), please help us keep this sweet girl alive so she is still here to meet our 1st child in November. 

Thank you so much for reading and learning about Lily's story. 

Link to learn more about Tanovea: Tanovea-CA1 

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Danielle Quimby 
Standish, ME