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.
Human Hero – Penny (coincidentally Amelia’s Owner)
Shortly after her amazing dog Amelia finished chemotherapy, Penny had a digital mammogram that showed a tumor on her left side. Immediately a biopsy was performed, followed by surgery, and then rounds of radiation. One of the first things she said to her husband was, “Well, now Amelia and I have something in common.”
There are so many things that go through your mind with a cancer diagnosis and mostly it is a wake up call for your mortality. Penny’s greatest concern was leaving her husband and their special needs son. But with the encouragement from her husband, sister, family, and so many dear friends she knew she was not alone and she would conquer this. Especially uplifting was her little Amelia who had gone through so much in her little life and come out on top through sheer courage and determination.
Every day after radiation Penny would come home and hug Amelia (which she hates) and thank her for being a true inspiration. While Penny had a promising prognosis, Amelia did not but that didn’t stop her. Penny kept telling herself that if a 5 lb dog could get through this, so could she. Amelia’s strength, courage, and perseverance helped Penny focus on the positives and fight the same battle Amelia had recently won.
To date, Penny has been cancer free for a year and Amelia is going on 2 years!! Penny gives thanks to the amazing staff at Wheaton Franciscan, who were quite surprised about her and Amelia’s story. When asked how she kept going through all of Amelia’s and her experience, Penny said, “In the end it all boils down to not giving up, having hope and faith, and just like my little girl…keep on going like nothing can stop you!”.