Ariel is our seven year old Bernese Mountain Dog living with us in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, she has been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) which is an aggressive disease. Often, this disease doesn't present itself until the bone fractures and then the only remedy is amputation and chemotherapy (this happened to her poor brother last year, but he's still going strong). In Ariel's case, it seems like we may have caught the disease early enough to avoid a fracture and potentially kill the primary tumor with a treatment called Stereotactic Radiosurgery Therapy, SRT. This would be a better option for her than amputation as her bone is still mostly intact and she has other issues that would make it more difficult to adapt to life on three legs.
The problem is there's only one place in the entire country with the technology to do so. So, Ariel needs your help to visit the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. There she will be able to get pinpoint treatment from state of the art technology using the Varian Linear Accelerator and of course their expert care as well. The work they are doing with animals is also rapidly leading to better understanding of similar human cancers that often present themselves in pediatric cases and have been traditionally difficult to treat successfully. So by helping Ariel get help, you're also helping advance science overall.
Originally from Colorado, Ariel was born on Veterans Day, 2004. Can you tell which one is her in this photo of her litter? She was the alpha-bitch, so of course that's her on the top.
Ariel means "Lion of God". From day one Ariel had giant paws
and a beautiful thick coat around her chest -- just like a lion! She
loves the snow and mountains as well as the city life and walking in the
park near our house. Her favorite foods are bananas, apples, carrots
and sushi. Having been born on
Veteran's day she's always been a patriot and especially a big supporter of
our POWs & MIAs (and puppy troopers too). Her mother lived to 9 and her father to 11, so
we're hoping with the right treatment Ariel will become a cancer
survivor and live to see several more birthdays.
We've raised Ariel since she was 8 weeks old and was just a little furball. We were both in graduate school at the time and then afterward returned to DC to pursue our careers. It's now been ten years we've been together, the last seven spent raising Ariel like a child. We have just gotten engaged this past December and began planning a wedding for late this Spring. Then, it was just days later when Ariel started limping suddenly. A couple weeks, several vet visits and a few thousand dollars later we learned the dreaded news. So, it's been stressful to say the least while juggling work, planning a wedding and trying to give Ariel the best care possible. We appreciate any and all help you can provide and will be forever grateful!
CSU's Animal Cancer Center is the only veterinarian clinic in the world with a Varian linear accelerator. Ariel will need several treatments from this very precise device that targets doses of radiation in a focused multi-dimensional pattern to maximize the capability to destroy the tumor with minimal impact on the surrounding areas. After treating the primary tumor, we will need to give Ariel chemotherapy treatment to prevent metastasis or spread of the microscopic cancerous cells to other parts or organs. The total expense of this treatment is expected to be around $8000 and all together probably upwards of 15k -- but how can you say no to such an adorable face!