VCORF – Mya's Fund
In loving memory and honor of Ch. Shomberg's One Hot Number SH
Mya was a beautiful puppy; certainly she was every breeder and owner's dream. She developed into a lovely companion as well as an outstanding representative of her breed. She easily achieved her conformation title with major specialty wins and she seemed to always love the attention and the applause. Her Junior and Senior Hunt Test titles followed as well as all but one last Master Hunter led needed to secure that title. She loved the field, hunting, and virtually any activity that allowed her to be outdoors. Hunting the open fields of South Dakota was a "vacation" every year and you could see he delight upon arrival every November. After hunting season she continued to run, play, and be a normal dog in every way. Her family included four other Shorthairs so she always had someone to include in her daily fun and those games that GSPs live to play. Life was good.
No one ever expects to hear the word "cancer." You cannot begin to prepare yourself for the diagnosis or the thoughts that come into your mind as you hear that your beloved dog will face the fight of his or her life. It was no different with Mya. It came at a time that was joyful and happy because she had just whelped eight healthy, beautiful puppies, who were just one week old. Noticing an enlarging growth on her right leg as she nursed her newborns, it became very obvious to us that this was anything but normal. Tests and x-rays confirmed our worst fears. The diagnosis was Osteosarcoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer in dogs. The goal at hand was to get the newborns to three weeks if possible and begin treatment immediately in an effort to save Mya's life. And so we began an all out effort, with guidance from Dr. Ann Jeglum in West Chester, PA, a nationally recognized oncologist and cancer researcher, who also owns German Shorthair Pointers.
Dr. Jeglum wasted no time and she initiated a protocol that was innovative, aggressive, positive, and almost overwhelming to us. But there were no options in our minds, our hearts, and our great love for our precious girl. As days and weeks progressed, the stress was obvious and the financial burden was mounting. There was no turning back. Kahla traveled long hours from southern Virginia to Pennsylvania, stayed for days in motels, and never once complained. After all, it was for Mya. Carl held down the home front and cared for the rest of their Shorthair family as it became obvious that this would be one very long and far-reaching battle. Days turned into weeks and it soon became obvious that Mya would lose her leg despite the fact that the tumor was killed. It would readily be given up if it meant surviving the cancer. In only a matter of weeks after surgery, Mya was running, swimming, and beginning to reclaim her life again as a three legged shorthair. She traveled back to South Dakota, hunted and enjoyed her life again. It was as if she never missed a beat. She also trained, was tested, and achieved her Therapy Dog title with those three legs. Dogs, unlike humans, never question, "why me?" We should all be so innocent and accepting of obstacles in our lives; even the most challenging.
In the year and a half that followed, Mya lost one of her kidneys to some of those cancer cells that migrated to her kidneys, but the other organs remained "clean" and we were thankful for every clear test and for every day that we were all given in having her in our lives to love and enjoy. She had quality of life and she continued to do everything just as she had done before her illness. You could see that she was happy and that she relished every bit of freedom that her three legs gave her. She did everything that she had done before her diagnosis, and that included a return to the ring in 2014 for Parade Of Titleholders, at the GSPCA National Specialty Show. Presented by Kahla, and moving around the ring once again, you could see that she clearly enjoyed the thunderous applause and it was all for her. Everyone knew Mya. She had been given a new title, "Wonder Dog," and she was every bit of that and so much more. She became everybody's dog, because everyone could envision her as their dog. If Mya could beat it then maybe their dog could beat this disease too.
We lost our precious Mya in January this year, 2015, and the pain of that loss remains with us every day. She is missed beyond words and somehow it will just never be quite the same without her. But in her memory, and in her name, there will be hope, because her "work" here is not done. Her reason for coming and for being is now realized in our goal to bring assistance to other Shorthairs and their owners who will experience the fight of their lives in battling cancer. It is the number one disease that takes out beloved dogs from us, no matter the age, the great care, the bloodlines, or the economic status of the owner involved.
In an effort to help other GSP owners and their dogs, we have created "Mya's Fund." This fund is designed to assist owners who cannot financially afford to provide treatment for their dogs, due to limited income and resources. It will provide treatment for Shorthairs anywhere in the country, regardless of the type of cancer diagnosed, and is based on treatment protocol and financial need. As we all know, cancer treatment can be terribly expensive and totally out of reach for many owners who are forced to make an unbelievably hard choice to treat or lose their dog to the disease. It is a gut wrenching decision to make.
Mya's Fund is 100% tax deductible, and all donations are dedicated to the fund without overhead and costs for administration. This is possible due to the generosity of Dr. Ann Jeglum, and her foundation, VCORF, which has taken Mya's Fund under their non-profit foundation. It will allow us to assist German Shorthairs anywhere in the country who have need for treatment, in an effort to survive cancer and continue to have quality of life, when their owner could not otherwise afford it. This is the purpose and goal of Mya's Fund. For us, and so many others that we might help, this will mean that Mya's life and her legacy will always be relevant; that it will provide hope for other Shorthairs, as well as a cause for celebrating their lives.
Please support Mya's Fund and help us to give other Shorthairs the same fighting chance that Mya was given. One day, it might help you and your dog. Please consider a donation in memory of one you have lost, or one that you may someday save. Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
Veterinary Comparative Oncology Research Foundation
Go to the VOSRC homepage and click the donate button on the banner to make a donation. (Please designate Mya's Fund under special instructions)
or personal checks made payable to:
739 East Nields Street,
West Chester, PA 19382