White Dog has kindly granted permission for me to use her blog. For those who don't follow us, The White Dog Army has undertaken the task of organizing the first ever Puppy Up New Mexico Walk for Canine Cancer/Comparative Oncology Awareness and Research Funding. Our event will take place on September 25th.
I was recently asked why I was so involved in supporting 2MillionDogs.org and canine cancer research. Many of you here in our blog community have provided the inspiration and motivation for our efforts, so I would like to share my response:
cancer is a terrible monster. (I refuse to use a capital C). Too many whom I have loved dearly have been taken too soon. They have left behind grieving families, unsung songs, empty tomorrows. I am talking about four-legged victims as well as human ones. This thief and murderer in all of its forms must be vanquished. It is my passionate hope that I will see that defeat within my lifetime. I carry the fight with devotion and conviction that cannot help but win…and I know in this commitment I am not alone.
Comparative Oncology is a new way of advancing on the foe. Cooperation and sharing… and finally recognizing the simple truth that “cancer is caner, period” gives our research more meaning and our results more impact.
I had the privilege of discussing the concept of Comparative Oncology with Luke Robinson last year and found his arguments that our best friends and furry companions are the “canary in the coal mine” in our everyday environment insightful. They live where we live; breathe what we breathe, eat what we eat; indulge in our lifestyles,and are exposed to the same environmental factors humans are.” It just makes sense to study the diseases that affect us both as parts of the same illnesses and to seek answers in both realms.
The energy of a group of people gathered together who believe in the hope offered by Comparative Oncology and who are united to fight cancer was amazing at last year’s Fort Collins, CO, Puppy Up! Walk. We drove there just to participate and we were overcome with the depth of emotion we felt. Before we left that day, my family had already made a commitment to bring this intensity and its message to New Mexico in 2011.
Our goal at the 2011 2MillionDogs Puppy Up New Mexico! Walk is to create a day, an Event, centered on the Walk to be sure, but more. We want those attending to share, network, be recharged, and feel the community that exists. We have structured our day to include music, activities, and presentations which will get people talking to each other and connecting to kindred spirits.
One of the most amazing things I have discovered as I have organized New Mexico’s Puppy Up Walk and spoken to potential sponsors, vendors, walkers, presenters, even musicians, is that truly, cancer.Touches.Everyone. Almost every person I have interacted with has had a story about a relative or loved one or precious furbaby that was stolen by cancer. And each had a fire in their eyes as they told their tale; a fire that said “I have NOT forgiven. I will fight for my moment of revenge, when cancer is no more. How can I help?” I believe together we are unstoppable in achieving success.
Education, Fund Raising, Spreading the word, yes, those are very important parts of our walk. There is one more element that will define the day…Hope! Puppy Up New Mexico! will ultimately be a celebration of hope and love and canine confidence and LIFE…and from that our victory is guaranteed. Puppy Up!
Sue, momma to Siku Marie, the Mighty Quinn, Nuka angel, Puff the Magical, and YoYoMa