Published: 26/08/2016 16:19:31
£100,000 Zoe's Journey UK fundraising campaign for AHT to help dogs fight cancer
One in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of ten. These are statistics the Zoe’s Journey UK fundraising team, founded by Jayne May, from Nailsea, Bristol, desperately want to change.
The ‘Zoe Brings It Home, £100,000 for the AHT’ campaign is their next big step in the fight against canine cancer and was launched on Tuesday 23 August by Mark Labbett at the vet practice in Portishead, Bristol, where Jayne's dog, Zoe, was treated for Lymphoma.
The Zoe’s Journey UK fund for the Animal Health Trust has been hugely successful. Initially, Jayne set out to raise £5,000 for the AHT, inspired by her own experiences after Zoe, a Golden Retriever, defied the odds and beat lymphoma at age 13.
Zoe continued to live a happy life free from cancer but sadly passed away earlier this year, at almost 15 years of age. Since January 2015 the ZJUK fund for the AHT has raised £68,000, and now, with celebrity support from Mark Labbett, the ZJUK team has committed to raising £100,000 for the AHT!
Unfortunately, for some breeds, like Golden Retrievers, cancer seems to pose a higher risk. Zoe’s Journey UK has formed a supportive online community through Facebook for dog owners battling the disease in their pets, determined to make a difference through their fundraising efforts which include: a community auction, merchandise, raffles, sky dives, cycling challenges and events.
Jayne May said: “Launching the £100k campaign is unbelievable; I never thought we would raise so much. I am so grateful and proud of my group who have made this possible and thank every one of them. It is so important for the future of dogs as far as cancer is concerned. A lot of people don’t even know that dogs get cancer, and it’s a big problem.
“On our Facebook group, it seems as if dogs are dying of cancer every week. It’s devastating. Losing a dog is never easy but if it’s a young dog who has lost its life to cancer, that’s just not right and we need to do something about it. Some dogs are fortunate enough to beat cancer, but as in humans, there are no guarantees. As an owner, you’re trying so hard to do the right thing by your dog and can feel so helpless.
“My Zoe survived cancer, and it’s only through research that we can find out what makes some dogs different and harness this to one day protect more dogs from cancer. Also, any advances made in cancer research in dogs can also have benefits for humans, so it’s even more crucial that we work together to help man’s best friend fight this horrible disease.”
Mark Labbett has a young Golden Retriever called Baloo and knows first-hand how having a dog can change your life: “We wouldn’t be without our dog now so we’re happy to support anything that might improve his quality of life in the future, as well as other dogs and that of their families. Dogs give you so much, it’s important that we’re able to offer them the very best treatment when they need it, and in order to do that, as with humans, you depend on advances being made through scientific research. This is a really worthwhile cause and it’s just amazing what they’re trying to achieve.”
Steve Tasker of Watkins and Tasker Veterinary Practice, who treated Jayne’s dog Zoe, said: “It’s unbelievable what Jayne has achieved and we’re 100% behind her all the way. Zoe was an incredible dog, and she was proof that dogs with cancer can have a happy ending. But not enough is known yet, as in humans, about why some individuals respond better to treatment than others and that’s why research is so important.”
Front: Jayne May, her dogs, Whitnie and Sophie and Steve Tasker of Watkins and Tasker.
Back: Claire Walkley, Head Nurse at Watkins & Tasker Portishead Practice, Marie-France Vincent of Animal Health Trust, Katie Labbett, Mark Labbett, Pete Williams, (ZJUK), Marilyn Dickens (ZJUK) (front right) and Susan Holloway (ZJUK).
Zoe’s Legacy at the Animal Health Trust
The Animal Health Trust is the only UK charity with a dedicated canine cancer research team and we are putting the Zoe’s Journey UK funds towards a new research project into lymphoma, one of the most common canine cancers and the cancer Zoe had.
The donation has also supported on-going research to develop a new prognostic test for vets treating dogs with mast cell tumours, the most common type of skin cancer in dogs. The AHT also has state-of-the-art facilities for treating dogs with cancer in its purpose-built Cancer Centre, which is part of its specialist referral clinic, and trains vets of the future wanting to specialise in veterinary oncology.
Dr Mike Starkey, Head of Molecular Oncology Research at the AHT, said: “There are around 200 different types of cancer that affect dogs. We’re currently researching five of the most common malignant cancers in dogs to gain a better understanding of how they develop, how they spread and how they respond to treatment, in order to help vets fight cancer.”
“Jayne has set herself an enormous target but we’re confident that she’ll make it as she and her team continue to amaze and inspire. This special cause is so very close to her heart and without support from people like her, we wouldn’t be able to do our vital research. We’re really grateful to Jayne, and everyone that has supported Zoe’s Journey UK, for all of their hard work, kindness and continued support.”
Spending your money wisely
From every £1 you give
us we spend 93p
fighting disease and
injury in animals.
We use the remaining 7p
to raise the next £1.