What's Going On:
Last week the beautiful and kind Ivy Mae Sassafras was diagnosed with acute Leukemia. She is only two and a half years old. Acute Leukemia is so rare that the top veterinary oncologists have only seen a few cases, and there is only one veterinary oncologist in the country (in North Carolina) who has successfully cured a dog of it.
Without the treatment this NC veterinarian can offer, Ivy only has a matter of months to live—even with weekly chemo treatments. And without this treatment, the longest a vet has been able to keep a dog alive with this diagnosis is five months—and most don't make it more than one or two months.
Ivy has already had three chemo treatments to try to slow the rapid-moving cancer, and Christina has driven all over the tri-state area to see the top veterinary oncologists—even one who practices integrative and eastern veterinary medicine.
But they all agree: this procedure in North Carolina is the only option, aside from a miracle unexplained by science (and we are sincerely hoping for this.)
In order for Ivy to receive this life-saving treatment, we need to find a matching blood donor. They are currently testing samples from all five of Ivy's puppies to see if they are matches. And as you can imagine, this process is expensive and not completely covered by pet insurance. The shipping alone for the five samples (plus Ivy's) cost more than $600.
Then, once a match is found, Ivy and Christina will need to travel to North Carolina for three weeks in order to receive treatment.
Christina is doing everything she can to save her sweet Ivy girl. She signed Ivy up for Trupanion insurance shortly after adopting her in 2018 (and they have been wonderfully supportive throughout this process) but some things just aren’t covered — travel expenses, appointment fees, new doctor-recommended diets, and 10 percent of each hospital stay or chemo appointment (and when expenses will surpass 100,000 — it’s still 10,000 out of pocket). Any donation (no matter how big or small) will help. Please share the Go Fund Me page and please, please, please keep praying for Ivy and Christina.
Ivy has touched Christina's life and the lives of so many others. And this sweet girl still has so much love to give. Ivy and Christina are prepared to fight a diagnosis no one deserves, but it's going to take a village and a miracle.
￼Christina and her girl:
"My heart expands each day I'm with Ivy. I'm in awe of her capacity to forgive, love and be happy, even though it would be understandable for her to fear humans after how she was treated. I’m so grateful to her and for any stars that aligned, twists of fate that occurred or prayers that were answered that brought Ivy into my life. And I'm so glad she sleeps on my legs every night instead of the shelter floor where she was left a year and a half ago.
Ivy is my soulmate. Whenever I need to be reminded of the good in the world, I look to her. My world revolves around her—she is literally and figuratively attached to my hip most days. She makes me believe in God (as I understand it). Her spirit and kindness despite all the mistreatment she’s been through are beyond my comprehension. And while she doesn’t deserve to go through anything more, my girl is a fighter and has already defied so many odds. But we will defy them again, empowered by all the love sent our way.
If you believe in God, please pray for her. If you believe in dogs, please keep faith that she will beat this. If you believe in the energy, please send her every bit of positivity you can spare. If you believe in love, send her love. We've only had 16 months together. And I want to be with her until she's white in her pretty face. Please keep us in your thoughts and know I'm so grateful for all of you.
She has helped me heal, and I desperately want to do the same for her, with your help."Ivy's Story:
Early in 2018, Ivy was left at a kill shelter in North Carolina, pregnant with five puppies. She gave birth the day after she was surrendered at the shelter.
Thankfully, a New Jersey-based rescue pulled Ivy and her puppies, and they were scooped up by a loving foster in North Carolina before they made a trip up north. She was in five different "homes" in a two-month period before Christina adopted her. (Where ever she was before the shelter, the shelter, a southern foster, a northern foster and a separate northern foster after she finished weaning her puppies.)
Christina was approved by the rescue, who enthusiastically wanted to help her find her "baby." And that's when she saw a picture of Ivy in a pink kiddie pool, nursing her puppies and looking directly into the camera with a kind, soulful gaze. That's when she knew it was her baby. She went and met her in New Jersey, and her tail was bandaged because she had what they called "happy tail"—she wagged so hard her tail would bleed from banging on the wall.
Christina waited until Ivy's puppies were adopted before bringing Ivy home March 9, 2018.
Ivy is known around her neighborhood for her wiggly welcomes, her skepticism of strange things, her silly spirit and her special soul. Ivy still has so much love to give, squirrels to chase, holes to dig and sunsets to watch by her mama's side. Please help this sweet girl and her mama Kick Cancer In The Face.
*Be sure to follow Christina on Instagram for regular updates on Ivy and her journey. @chriscrapanzano