Human Hero

2017 Human Cancer Hero: Linda Sullivan

I am most humbled to be honored as the 2017 Puppy Up Madison Human Hero. Yes, a diagnosis of cancer is difficult for anyone. Some say it takes courage to face extensive surgeries, radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. And bravery when the victories of “clean” scans are followed by the daunting news of coming out of remission. But to me, the real heroes are the ones who help us deal with cancer.

Who are my heroes? Niles Newton, my dearest companion and personal pet therapy dog. He may look a little silly in his Superman suit but he truly is a hero, even though he will never know it. He makes me laugh. I’ll bet your pets do, too! What could be more therapeutic?

My family, especially a mom full of support (because she knows cancer, too) and a sister (she lost her golden to bone cancer last year) always ready to do anything. And the others who support me and Puppy Up from near and far. Families do heroic things for each other.

The Puppy Up Madison Organizing Committee – fully committed heroes who spend countless hours raising dollars and awareness to stamp out cancer. My Pet Pals friends (human and canine) who brighten the days of kids fighting cancer and other diseases at American Family Children’s Hospital. These heroes are also PuppyUp’s top fund-raising team! Join them!!

Let’s not forget the physicians and nurses who treat human cancer patients, always kind and caring, even when all looks bleak. Or the dedicated veterinarians and technicians at VES, the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and community practices who help beloved companion animals with cancer. I know how talented and compassionate they are – many of these heroes were my students. Or the human and veterinary researchers who tirelessly toil in research labs, looking for the clues that will stamp out cancer forever. It isn’t quick or easy but heroes persevere.

Walk with me as part of Puppy Up Madison 2017 to support the important work that aims to end cancer forever in both dogs and people! Help us raise funds in honor of Niles Newton and all of the true heroes in this world who help people survive cancer.

Click here to learn more about our 2016 Human Cancer Hero, Cass Taylor.

Photo by Steve Dahlgren of Dog Grin Photography
Photo by Steve Dahlgren of Dog Grin Photography