My name is Cheryl and I am a Business Manager for a national food brokerage and marketing firm. I recently graduated with my second bachelor's degree in accounting; the first was a management degree. I am also the proud puppy parent of 6-year-old Ollie. Ollie is a toy fox terrier. Unfortunately, Ollie was tentatively diagnosed with an aggressive neurological disorder, Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME), 8 months ago. This disease has no known cause. It is characterized by an overreaction of the immune system which results in the immune system attacking the brain tissue.
Ollie's first symptom was clusters of seizures. We were able to control the seizures after a few adjustments to medications. However, Ollie began developing other symptoms a few months later. He started to miss the couch when trying to jump up. Then, he developed a tremor in his leg. When the tremor went away, he was unable to maintain complete control of his legs. Next, he became incapable of understanding common commands that he learned as a puppy. He was put on a low dose of steroids and antibiotics, but neither helped his condition. As a result, he lost his sight; first in one eye and then in both. Over time, his formerly enthusiastic interest in his toys dwindled to the point of complete indifference. Essentially, his personality completely changed.
Throughout his treatment, Ollie has been on a variety of medications and dosages for those medications. He has experienced some improvement in his condition. Unfortunately, he has also had a few setbacks brought on by changes in medicine or clusters of break-through seizures. Each time, he has only been able to recover to a certain level.
My research had lead me to the conclusion that Ollie will never fully recover unless his condition is treated aggressively. I was able to locate the paper of a doctor in Boston, Dr. Sisson, that had remarkable success in treating the disease and curing it 80-90% of the time. Unfortunately, he wanted $211 up front and $125 per month to consult on the case. I was just not able to come up with that amount of money.
I read all of the research and asked my regular vet if she would follow the protocol. She seemed open to the idea, but she said she would only give him two of the five medicines that the paper said he needed to be cured. Her justification was that she could not be sure that he did not have a tumor and the medicines were potentially volatile. So, in order to get her to approach Ollie's treatment with the appropriate amount of aggressiveness, I need to get the MRI done.
For further information about GME, I am providing three links that were very helpful to me. There are also some videos of affected dogs on YouTube if you search for granulomatous meningoencephalitis or GME.
Here is a video that displays some of Ollie's neurological symptoms:
Here is a link to Dr. Sisson's paper: http://georgieyorkie.blogspot.com/2013/02/dr-sissons-paper-treatment-ofautoimmune.html
Here is a link to a GME support group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/NewGMEDogs/info
Here is a link to an informative welcome message developed by the moderator of the support group: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/19871522/1974420347/name/Welcome
What We Need & What You Get
I am asking for donations so that I can get the MRI done and possibly consult with a veterinarian specializing in neurology. If the MRI determines that Ollie does have GME, my goal is to persuade either my regular vet or a veterinary neurologist to follow Dr. Sisson's protocol exactly. If the MRI shows a brain tumor, I will find out whether or not it can be treated, and if it can, determine how to pay for the treatment.
Even if I am unable to obtain enough money to get the MRI now, I will continue to save until I do have enough. If I am fortunate enough to get funds in excess of my goal amount, I will use any money received to pay for Ollie's care and treatment.
I wish I had something that I could offer you in return for your donation, but I just do not have the means to do so. If it helps, your donation will go towards saving the life of an innocent animal that has had the misfortune of having financially-limited owners. Unfortunately, Ollie cannot provide for himself, and we have done everything we know how to and can afford to do. As it is, Ollie costs us around $200 per month that we have to take from other areas of our budget.
One thing I can offer is updates on Ollie's condition. If you leave your email address with your donation, I will add you to the list of update recipients. Hopefully, this will help you to see the value of your investment.
Since my boyfriend and I do not currently have any children, our dogs are the closest things we have to babies. We love them so very much. The thought of losing Ollie is devastating. I am even more troubled by the financial constraints that keep me from giving him the best chance at a cure and a long life. If we can properly diagnose him, we will be taking the first step to saving his life which is something I could not possibly want more.
Other Ways You Can Help
I have been through hard times myself, so I understand that not all people have the money to spare even if they want to help. If you are unable to help financially, you may be able to help by getting the word out about my campaign. I am also in need of information. I would be grateful to anyone who knows of a good place near Memphis, TN to get an MRI for Ollie and also the name of the closest neurological specialist that has experience in dealing with Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME), brain tumors, and other neurological disorders. Thank you again for any help you may be able to offer!