"It's amazing where a broken heart can take you," Cera Reusser, Founder of Chase Away K9 Cancer writes on the home page of her website
. After losing her beloved Black Lab, Chase, to Nasal Carcinoma in 2006, Reusser made the decision to channel her grief into helping other dogs facing similar diagnoses. The Chase Away K9 Cancer Fund was born out of that sorrow and a determination to see a brighter future for dogs with cancer.
Chase Away K9 Cancer is a 100% non-profit, volunteer driven fund and a division of the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Reusser and her loyal band of volunteers from all over the country are raising money the old fashioned way: networking and leg work. They never miss an opportunity to spread their message at events from coast to coast.
[caption id="attachment_47032" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Rikki, Elsie May & Olie- 3 Generations of Chase's Pups
Volunteers' dogs wear fund raising vests and perform tricks for donations, including Reusser's own three dogs, who are all descendants of the fund's namesake, Chase. Every penny raised is channeled into canine cancer research and promoting awareness among the dog owner population. Chase Away K9 Cancer has raised a mind blowing $990,000 and counting since its inception. Not too shabby for a grass roots operation!
Reusser and her team want to stress the importance of checking your dogs for lumps and bumps frequently. Early detection can be the difference between life and death. Chase was only six years old and an AKC Master Hunter, as well as an Elite Jumper in DockDogs Big Air and NW Challenge Championship when her mom noticed a lump under her chin. The lump turned out to be metastasized cancer. Even the exemplary care of her Veterinary Oncologist could not save Chase. On the last day of her life, Reusser brought Chase to Sauvie Island in her home state of Oregon for a final swim off her favorite dock.
Reusser is encouraged and inspired by the overwhelming support she has received from communities all over the U.S. So many people's lives have been touched by canine cancer, and many feel compelled to share their stories with her. She has had small children come to events toting their entire piggy banks to donate to the cause. They are grieving a beloved pet and want to help spare other children from feeling the pain of losing a friend to cancer.
The Chase Away K9 Cancer Fund is hoping to reach $1 million raised for the cause. Let's help them get there! To make a donation visit: https://chaseaway.wearethecure.org/
The organization encourages us all to "Be Our Dogs' Heroes" by checking them for lumps and bumps on the 14th of every month. That's a goal we ALL should strive for!
Featured image via Chase Away K9 Cancer