For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.
These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease.
Canine Hero – Amelia
Meet Amelia (officially Queen Amelia of the Isle of Yorkies), a Yorkshire Terrier who has more strength, courage, and perseverance in her 4-pound body than is fathomable. Ameila was 12-years-old, blind, toothless, and full of mammary tumors due to overbreeding when she was dumped in a park. A kind soul found her and a volunteer from a nearby shelter brought her to safety and ended up adopting her to make sure the rest of her life was better than the first 12 years. This little girl likely had a hard life at a puppy mill prior to finding a home that would love and cherish her. After an examination, it was found that she had luxating patellas and her vocal cords were stripped so she couldn’t even bark, and then came the disheartening news that Ameila would probably only have 5 to 9 months to live. Her tumors were pushing her uterus out and one tumor had ruptured and was draining a clear bacterial fluid that was resistant to initial medication. Her owner was told by several sources that the only thing that could be done was to make Amelia comfortable until she passed, but she refused to give up on Amelia.
Then they went to WVRC, where Dr. Custead (onology) and Dr. Hurley (surgery) consulted on a treatment plan for three different kinds of cancer, including an aggressive form of breast cancer. Dr. Hurley surgically removed Amelia’s tumors and Dr. Custead immediately began her on chemotherapy treatments. Four months later Amelia was cancer free!! This September Amelia will be 15 and is living the life that she so deserves. Amelia’s owner expressed, “Many thanks to Dr. Custead and Dr. Hurley for their care and positivity, which gave us hope for our little girl.”
Dogs with Amelia’s cancer have a 50/50 chance of making it a year, and she is still doing great with no evidence of cancer spread! Way to go Amelia. We absolutely love you. You bring joy to your family and we feel lucky to have met you.