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Riley has Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

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Riley has Crossed the Rainbow Bridge (We need donations.)

*UPDATE* 2-1-24

It has been a rough transition into 2024 for our family. Riley crossed the rainbow bridge on 12-22-23, and I went into the hospital on Christmas Eve, where I was for three weeks.

This has been a difficult time for our family to say the least. We are still very much still processing the loss as it was sudden that the cancer took over - within a matter of days.

He was healthy and doing great. Riley had actually overcome a staff infection in his back paw that required him to essentially regrow his foot back. Just as he was able to walk on his own, the cancer came back full force and took him down. It was so cruel and absolutely heartbreaking.

Though we are grateful our funds have gone to cancer research, and this process is already being used in treating brain cancer in humans, my family has been left in a financial hole.

We are mentally, financially and emotionally devastated at the moment. Even after taking money out of our retirement account, all the extra expenses added up, and we still owe about $10,000 on our credit card for Riley's care. (Total expenses were over $30,000.)

I know some people will think that's crazy, but there was not another choice. I could not have made the choice to let him go or do a lesser treatment that wasn't right. He was like a child to me, and I have lost way too much in my life. We also had no idea how much it would cost in the beginning, and I'm grateful for that ignorance.

We still need to pay off the treatment. It could take a long time, or the kindness of strangers could shine in our lives as we have in the lives of others. We don't do our work for reciprocation; however, kindness and donations are still very much appreciated. All donations help. 😉 <3

We will also be selling Spring Renewal Blessing Eggs to help with this.


Riley always was a special boy. He wasn't just a dog, let alone any dog. He was a great healer to our entire family ...

"We've had him since he was seven months old. It was my son's birthday, and we just happened to need pet food, so we stopped at a place that just happened to have pitbull mix puppies that had been rescued.

A pitbull-mix + rescued + my son's birthday + every boy needs a dog = this mamma made sure a puppy got a forever home and her boy got his own dog. But Riley has never been just my son's dog; he has been the heart of us all.

My father-in-law and his adult son with autism have lived with us for over a year because he has been battling cancer, and Riley has been a wonderful healer for Dad. Riley is also helping to heal Dad from the loss he has endured in his life.

On top of that, Riley is my emotional support when dealing with the chronic form of PTSD that I've been diagnosed with. We spend a lot of time together, and it will not be okay when I don't have him with me.

Riley Is different, you know. All animals are great, but some are just somehow ... more. That is Riley."

In March 2023, Riley was diagnosed with bone cancer, which is a very aggressive form of cancer. The usual method of treatment is amputation, them chemo and radiation. However, if you get six months with your pet, that is considered a miracle. Most live weeks to months.

As you can imagine, we couldn't accept that. Especially after all we've been through (and there's a lot I'm not sharing), we weren't ready to lose Riley, and we knew he wasn't ready to go anywhere without his people.

Thankfully, my husband is great at internet research, and he found this pilot program from a company in Ohio. They are showing great promise with dogs living 1 to 2 years and possibly longer. In fact, this treatment was first used in humans and is currently being used to treat brain tumors in humans. The only thing is the price ... it is expensive!!

100% of your donation goes to this project.
Adding on a 5% tip will cover processing fees, which is very helpful.

Because we had no other option, I took out more than half of what was in my tiny retirement account. My husband emptied his small investment account he was learning to invest with, and my father-in-law also took money out of his retirement account. Still, it might be more expensive than we estimated. (Clearly it was!)

We had to fight to get this even started, too. Luckily, a local vet right in our town was willing to learn to do a lot of it. They took a sample of the cancer cells while they amputated the limb with the tumor, and they sent those cells to Ohio where they will then be turned into a vaccine to fight Riley's cancer with his own cells. (It's immunotherapy.)

Another vet in the office had to learn to do the shots that he will get for the next few weeks. These shots are like allergy shots; they go just under the skin and prepare him for the process in Ohio. We will have to go to Ohio twice, and we already have those dates set.

My hope with this process is of course the obvious one, but I can't help hope for more. The sky is the limit for hope, right? Maybe not even then ...

I prayed with all I had that this would give Riley more life that he could enjoy freely, but I also prayed that this program will lead to a cure. This therapy has great potential. (I got both prayers technically. Riley lived longer than the other treatment estimated, and this treatment is being used in human brain tumors already.)

I have a chronic illness myself and have studied the research on cells. Our cells have a lot within them that is still "locked", and I believe this science will be invaluable in the future.

At this point, I knew this process was going to be more costly than we expected. I knew there are many people out there who have lost pets, probably even to cancer. Did you know that 50%-65% of dogs die of cancer? It's toward the higher percentage for bigger breeds (as much as 85%). I don't know about you, but I just can't accept that! That is just absolutely not acceptable and makes me really upset! This undoubtedly is part of why I'm fighting so hard. Riley isn't the first fur baby we've lost to cancer.

We did everything right ... healthy food, healthy treats. Boom! Cancer! I hate cancer!!! But, I LOVE RILEY!!!!!

If you hate cancer too, can you help us with our fight? Maybe fight in the name of your own that you lost? We are fighting for dogs in the future, too. Please help us do this. With everything, it's probably going to cost somewhere between $15k - $20k. We don't regret it one bit; we just need a little help. Thanks for listening. <3

Thank you for your donation. Wishing you blessings in all good things.

Much Love,

Re & Riley & Family

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