Lilo’s Cancer Treatments and Recovery

Thank you all so much! All the extra money above the goal (minus the fees that GoFundMe withholds--they take about $1000 of the goal for transfer fees) will go to the shelter that Lilo was rescued from, Mikey's Chance .

Lilo's Cancer Treatments and Recovery Campaign

Lilo is our eight year old rescue dog and she's been with us through everything. We're doing our best to be there for her right now. She's had a rough 2019: injuring her knee, getting surgery, and now a cancer diagnosis on top of everything. We're seeing if we can, with the help of our community, continue to get her the care she needs in order to not only save her life, but keep her happy and healthy for more years to come. 

Lilo's Cancer and Hope for Survival

Lilo has a rare and aggressive form of cancer, histiocytic sarcoma, that has popped up in the leg where she had her TPLO surgery. Histiocytic sarcoma is a cancer of the immune system, and that meant when she ruptured her CCL and had TPLO surgery earlier this spring, one of those traumas triggered a massive tumor that has taken over her knee on the injured leg. According to one of our vets, this is a 1 in 20,000 case of getting cancer after TPLO. 

Without treatment, Lilo only has weeks to months left. In the last week since we've confirmed her cancer diagnosis, we've seen the surgeon who did the TPLO, our vet at Aerowood Animal Hospital, Lilo's wonderful holistic vet who's been overseeing her rehab from the TPLO surgery, and a veterinary oncologist. We've gotten several strategies of how to treat Lilo: chemo (which she started this week), radiation, amputation, and other therapies designed to give her a wonderful quality of life--not just an extension for our sake. 

Lilo is only eight years old, and we believe that with the treatment strategies that our veterinary team advises, that she can continue to have adventures, fun, and live several more pain-free years. 

What We're Funding

We're hoping to raise enough funds to both cover the treatments Lilo's team advises, as well as cover the expenses we've already paid for her pain and antibiotic medications, the chemo we just began, and all the tests we've taken so far to diagnosis her cancer.

If we can raise the full $12,000 then we can afford all the treatments: chemo, radiation, recovery and surgery for Lilo. If we can only raise $7000, then we can afford chemo, amputation, and recovery. If we can only raise $4000, we can amputate, but we might not be able to continue to afford her chemo therapy. If we raise less that $3000, we may have to say goodbye.

[UPDATE 6/14: We have passed the $3K mark! We can afford to treat Lilo. We're still waiting to see how much we can afford to do for her, so we're still not sure whether to do radiation or amputation (and it also depends on radiation availability versus how much time her leg has). We have, following the advice of others, decided to increase our funding goal to cover most of Lilo's medical bills since April. The financial goals for her care will remain the same. I will be posting documentation as I can gather it in the update section for transparency's sake (there's already one in there as of this posting.) There are several months and over eight different providers and pharmacies to gather information from, but we want you all to know we take your donations seriously. ]

[UPDATE 6/14... same freaking day: We have fully funded Lilo's current and future medical expenses for her cancerous leg. We've adjusted the amount to include all our medical bills for her from February, as well as putting aside money for her TTA on the remaining healthy leg, as her surgeon says it might have to get done within the next year. If we exceed our fundraising goal, all the extra money above the $24,605 (minus the transfer fees that GoFundMe withholds) will go to the shelter that Lilo was rescued from, Mikey's Chance .]

We have spent so much between March and June that we've taken this as far as we can on our own. Lilo's quality of life is the most important to us and far outweighs our emotional need for her. If we aren't able to afford to give her the treatments her team advises, then her comfort takes top priority, and any funds raised will go towards us giving her a comfortable transition. 

Lilo's Story

Lilo came to us from a wonderful shelter called Mikey's Chance in Eastern Washington. She was born in October of 2010. Her mother was shot when she and her litter were only a few weeks old. Mikey's Chance did a wonderful job fostering her litter, and my sister and I discovered the puppies when they were a few months old. 

A few months after we adopted Lilo, I lost my first baby. The miscarriage took months and I had severe health complications, along with the grief that both Vasant and I dealt with. Lilo immediately displayed the most empathic skills I've ever seen in a dog. She went from a bitey, frisky six month old to a calm, snuggly service dog whenever I cried or needed to lay down. She loved both of us back out of the dark place the miscarriage had placed us, and cared for me physically whenever I was alone. 

As the years passed, Lilo became part of our film team. For those who have worked with us on our feature documentary, Promised Land , you probably saw Lilo on set at one point. Lilo loved traveling on set, and spent so many late nights with us editing. 

Since my sister adopted Lilo's sister, Lilo and Penny have gotten to spend their entire lives together. Being half Husky (and a quarter Golden and quarter Shepherd), she loves the snow. This last February, she spent the entire snow storm that hit Seattle tunneling through the snow outside, and running circles around the snow beasts we built. She loves popcorn, pumpkin, and her celebrity crush is Eddie from Frasier (for whom, before her knee blew, she'd stand up on her hind legs for whenever he was on screen.)

Who We Are

Vasant and Sarah are two filmmakers in Western Washington. Our first film was an award-winning feature documentary called Promised Land. We're currently in development on our next two films. When we're not filmmaking, we have a full service media production business  that offers video production, storyboarding, script writing, graphic design, websites, illustration, animation, motion graphics, and more.

Lilo is our first child, and despite her being a dog, we love her like our own offspring. She is the world's best puppy, and while we're prepared for saying goodbye (no, we're not, honestly, but we're going to prioritize her quality of life), we're hoping that with help from our family and friends, we can give her more years, more adventures, and more happy days ahead.

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Matt Johnson 
    • $5 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Julie Poore 
    • $5 
    • 3 mos
  • Barry Blesi 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos

Fundraising team: Team Lilo (2) 

Sarah Salcedo 
Kent, WA
Vasant S 
Team member
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