DENVER, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- It's been more than a year since Peggy Mitchell's dog, Emily, died of cancer, but the grief is still there.
"I try to get through talking about Emily without crying, but it's hard…very hard," Mitchell says.
Canine Hemangiosarcoma killed Emily's mother within two weeks of diagnosis. Mitchell says she was lucky that Emily lived two-and-a-half years after veterinarians realized she had the same, highly invasive cancer.
"The night that she died, I called my friend, Patty, and told her Emily was gone. She said, 'Tell me it's not true.' And I had to say, 'I can't,'" Mitchell says.
Unfortunately, thousands of dog owners across the country will have similar experiences. Canine cancer is the number one killer of dogs over the age of two. About 50 percent of dogs will contract cancer in their lifetime, and one in four will die from the disease. For Colorado, home to more than 1 million dogs, one-in-four translates to roughly twice the human population of Fort Collins.
These days, Mitchell is putting her sadness to good use. As one of the volunteers for the 2010 Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walk in Estes Park on August 21, she's marshalling public support for canine cancer research. She's also helping build a community for dog owners who share her fear and frustration. Dog owners can convene at the Walk to talk about their canine best friends' battle with the disease.
Morris Animal Foundation needs your support for the Estes Park K9 Cancer Walk to meet the event's $30,000 fundraising goal. Every dollar of the proceeds will go directly to the Foundation's Canine Cancer Campaign. Money raised will help fund research and train the next generation of researchers at Colorado State University's Animal Cancer Center and other established locations around the world.
Online registration for the 2010 Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walk in Estes Park is open now through Aug. 7 at www.K9CancerWalk.org. Registration is $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 10-15, and free for children younger than 10. On-site registration and check-in begins at 8 a.m. The walk begins at 9 a.m. Updates on the latest canine cancer research developments and Canine Cancer Campaign news begin at 11 a.m. The Walk will be held in Stanley Park, 380 Community Drive.
SOURCE Morris Animal Foundation