Howie's Cancer Fight

$295 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 6 people in 1 month
Created October 14, 2018
Howie is our 3 year old German Shepherd/Lab mix. He hasn't had an easy life from the moment he was born. Howie was born in a shelter, suffered with parvo as a puppy and almost did not make it. He was adopted into what should have been a loving family, but was returned just two years later and was adopted into our family in February after 5 months of shelter life. This past week, we received news that nobody ever wants to hear. Howie was diagnosed with lymphoma after swollen lymph nodes were detected in his neck and back legs. 

We came across Howie after volunteering at the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue. We had volunteered there for several months walking the dogs, but just never felt an instant connection with any of the other dogs until we met Howie. At that moment, we'd like to be his forever home. So sure of it, that even before we filled out the dog application we went and made a specialized name tag for him. And we even bought all the essentials we needed to care for him. After what felt like eternity and waiting for the home inspection, Howie became a part of our family. 

Immediately after welcoming him into our home, we truly were able to see his personality shine. We cannot tell you how much joy and laughter he has brought into our lives. Howie is a sweetheart and is extremely gentle with our 17 year old cat. We were quite surprised to see how well behaved he was from the moment we got him. We were prepared to train him on basic house rules, but didn't need to. The dog we chose was just too perfect to be true and still is in our eyes.

Howie is extremely energetic from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed. He is kind of a bed hog, but we would not have it any other way. Howie becomes fast friends with anyone who is willing to throw the ball for him. He loves trips to Canine Corners Dog Park and the dog beach in Coronado. Whenever we take him there, he always seems to befriend a husky and loves running through the waves. 

Howie is the man of the house while his dad is underway and serving his country in the US Navy. Howie is a loyal dog and protects his mom while dad is away and keeps her company while he is away. He makes sure to keep his mom distracted and in good spirits while taking lots of walks outside. But the moment Dad comes home, he literally runs around with excitement and tackles him with kisses saying, “Welcome home!”
(video of dad coming home after work and seeing Howie) 

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that sneaks up on you quickly without many warning signs. One of the first signs is swollen lymph nodes and in our case we found them in Howie's neck. It’s an aggressive form of cancer that does not have a good prognosis without immediate treatment. Our goal is that Howie may undergo chemotherapy to buy him so more time. The treatment recommended by the vet is called CHOP protocol and is 19 weeks of chemotherapy, in California this cost is 9,000 alone.

Our life has been an amazing adventure since Howie joined our family. And it wouldn't be complete without him.

We are not ready to give up so easily with Howie’s fight to survive and beat cancer. Please follow Howie on Instagram for his latest updates and photos as we travel through this journey together @howiedewindiego.

Please consider donating to our fight for Howie. If you are unable to donate, we ask for prayers and support for our family during this difficult time. 

God Bless,
Jeremiah, Rachel, Howie Dewin Diego and Oreo
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Howie needed a trip to the vet this morning due to complications of chemotherapy. Howie developed severe nausea and has not been able to take his medications to help with that. Upon going to the vet, it was found that he has developed an arrhythmia. Today he was given subcutaneous fluids and injectable cerenia to help with nausea. We will go the the VSH in San Marcos for a follow up this Friday to recheck his complete blood cell counts and also look into his arrhythmia. Pray for Howie so he can feel better soon!
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We are so extremely blessed to all those who have donated towards Howie’s chemotherapy and we cannot thank you enough. Howie just completed round two of five of chemo. He was extremely tired after the appointment yesterday, but still had a ravenous appetite. So we decided to spoil him rotten with treats and of course his favorite frosty paws ice cream (made for dogs). Howie still has endless amounts of energy. He still loves to run and play, literally 24/7! Looking at him, we would have never guessed he had lymphoma since he is always active. Howie’s next appointment will be on December 13 for his third round of chemo. A nonprofit group called Free Animal Doctor is helping us to raise funds for Howie. We are so blessed that they have found us, as they can reach out to more people than we can alone. Please check their page out at https://freeanimaldoctor.org/campaigns/lovable-howie/.
After round 2 of chemo
Snuggling with his snake toy from G&G
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Today (November 1), was Howie’s first chemotherapy appointment. Howie was there for approximately two hours while they did some blood work for the clinical trial. We decided to begin treatment with the Doxyrubicin Protocol along with Prednisone for now. We may switch to the CHOP protocol if we are able to down the road. The protocol that we are doing is done every 3 weeks for a total of 5 doses. Today was his first dose of doxyrubicin and he did great! He came home and kept bringing me all of his toys to play with. It seems like his lymph nodes are starting to become smaller after his session, but it is too early to say that for sure. We would personally like to thank everyone who has donated to this cause as well as those who have shared his page or even prayed for our family. It means the world to us! We are extremely blessed with all the support we have been given. Howie’s first appointment was paid in full by the sharing of this page and others who had donated offline. Thank you all again! Please keep sharing so we can continue with Howie’s treatment.
Howie after his first chemotherapy appt
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Today (October 23), Howie had his first check in with the clinical trial. His blood results showed that he has B cell lymphoma, meaning there’s a better prognosis and response to chemotherapy. The doctor measured his lymph nodes, redid blood work/urinalysis and found that he was stable (meaning his cancer has not progressed since the single agent chemotherapy has been administered). Howie has another week of chemotherapy from the clinical trial. We will check back with the vet in San Marcos next Tuesday. From there, we will make the decision of which chemotherapy treatment we will decide to go for. Howie still has a lot of energy and always wants to play fetch from sun up to sun down. Keep Howie in your prayers! We will update you next Tuesday! Thank you all for your generous donations, we appreciate all the help!
Car ride back from the vet.
Major car ride drool
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$295 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 6 people in 1 month
Created October 14, 2018
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