Chris Pike, director of marketing & promotions for the National Canine Cancer Foundation, shared his story with me last year – a very personal reason for wanting to help raise money to fight a disease many other dog owners will experience.
He and his wife were in town to celebrate Chris’ birthday with his family. Their longing to share a home with double the joyous, childlike antics of a golden retriever took them to a farm that was ironically in the neighborhood of our region’s hub for adventure – Kings Island.
And there he was. A 10 week old, cream colored teddy bear who bounced as he ran straight into the arms of the couple Chris and Eileen Pike of Cincinnati with golden retrieverswhose home and hearts were to be one with his for the rest of his life. Skyler had a way with women. Truth be told, he had a way with everyone. It was his beautiful, magical gift that he was brought into this world to share.
Kiara too filled her world with love. Every day was an adventure, a new opportunity to explore and new people to meet.
Sadly those gifts were brought to an end by canine cancer. Chris learned, it was actually fairly common especially in golden retrievers. In fact, cancer took the life of not just one but two bundles of sheer happiness from the Pike’s household.
Today, the legacy of Skyler and Kiara is in the hard fought battle of Chris to wage a war against that deadly enemy.
National Canine Cancer Foundation
The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that provides grants to researchers working to save lives, find cures, improve treatments, and develop more accurate and cost effective diagnostic methods in dealing with canine cancer.
Its funds are used in eliminating cancer as a major health problem in dogs through education, outreach and research to save lives though finding cures, better treatments, more accurate cost effective diagnostic methods in dealing with cancer and diminishing dogs suffering from cancer.
“We are happy to say that we have approved to spend $382,994.72 in 2015 and $308,055 in 2016 in funding research grants. That will be $691,049 spent on research grants. Also we will spend another $1M over that same period on raising awareness and reaching out to dog owners on how to be proactive in increasing the survival rate of dogs with canine cancer,” Chris told me.
Oakley Pup Crawl
Join me and more than 1000 other dog lovers in participating in the 2015 Oakely Pup Crawl on April 26. You can come alone – or bring your dog. And, if you do not have a dog, you can ‘rent’ a dog for the afternoon from Recycled Doggies. (Last year, all of the rented dogs were adopted at the end of the event.)
How the proceeds will be used
ALL of the money raised at this year’s Pup Crawl will go toward one of the research grants being funded by the Foundation. The research, headed by Gwendolen Lorch D.V.M., PhD. Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, at The Ohio State University, will look into the triggers of canine lung cancer.