The Brodie Fund: Helping Pets Fight Cancer

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year. As heartbreaking as a cancer diagnosis is, it does not have to be the end of the road. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment options ranging from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to palliative care may extend the life of cats with good quality for months, and sometimes even years.

I believe that the decision whether to treat feline cancer is always an individual one. There is no right or wrong answer; each cat and each cat parent is an individual. Factors such as the cat’s age, general health status, and temperament, as well as past experiences the cat’s human may have had with cancer in humans or animals in their life, all come into play. So do finances: cancer therapies are expensive.

The Brodie Fund offers financial assistance for cancer treatments

The Brodie Fund raises money to offer financial assistance, through grants, to families who have pets fighting cancer. Created by Sally Williams, a life long cat lover and cat behaviorist, the fund is a unique non profit organization that benefits cats (and dogs) who have been diagnosed with cancer. While most other non-profits in the same realm allocate funds based on clinical criteria such as age and prognosis, which may exclude cats that might otherwise benefit from treatment, the Brodie Fund looks at each individual cat’s and human’s situation to determine whether they can help. The fund was inspired by Sally’s cat Brodie.

I previously introduced you to the Brodie Fund. Today, I’m excited to share some updates on how the fund has grown, and how it has helped two cats thrive after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

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New participating hospital and new annual grants

While the Brodie Fund previously only worked with hospitals in the tri-state area, they recently welcomed a new participating hospital in Colorado, VRCC Englewood, in partnership with KarmaSue, a Colorado non-profit dedicated to providing education, counseling, and financial support to Coloradan families with companion animals living with cancer. Their missions aligned perfectly, and the partnership was formed, allowing them to give five grants this year. “These types of collaborations are exciting, because they will allow further expansion and more grants,” says Sally.

They also added new annual grants, Brodie Goes Abroad, and Brodie To The Rescue. “Brodie Goes Abroad allows us to help a pet outside our network of hospitals in other parts of the world,” says Sally Williams. “Thanks to this addition we were able to help a handsome cat named Simon in the Netherlands.” Brodie To The Rescue gave its first grant to a cat named Giselle, now named Edie.

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Simon’s Story

Simon was living on the Greek island of Samros when he was rescued by Tina, a Dutch woman who volunteers annually in Greece doing TNR and caring for cats. Simon was not the first cat she rescued and brought home knowing he had cancer. She also rescued Zorba. Simon had skin cancer, which is quite common in cats living in Greece. He needed surgery to have most of his ears removed. “We had followed Zorba’s story,” said Sally. “That’s when we formed Brodie Goes Abroad, and we helped pay for Simon’s surgery.” Today, Simon is doing great and had become the quintessential lap cat.

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Edie’s Story

Giselle, now named Edie, was rescued from a hoarding situation in New York by The Little Wanderers NYC, an organization specializing in rescuing the neediest cats in the toughest neighborhoods. “Giselle had lived in this situation for likely ten years, dealing with neglect and abuse,” said Sally. She entered her new foster home timid, underweight, anemic and with a giant tumor on her neck. Thankfully tests showed no signs of spreading and with removal of the tumor she would be cancer free.” Sally came across her picture and story on social media. She had been wanting to work with a rescue, as she herself has been involved with rescues and shelters for years. Giselle was the perfect cat for this: her cancer was treatable, and she would become an adoptable cat. Brodie To The Rescue was formed. Giselle’s foster mom Amanda adopted her the day after surgery and named her Edie. She is now living her best life with mom Amanda and a few furry siblings.

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The Feline Fine Project

In late 2018, Sally Williams launched The Feline Fine Project. Born out of the Brodie Fund and The Contented Cat, Sally’s behavior consulting business, the project’s  mission is to educate cat owners on the importance of annual vet visits, offer guidance to make vet visits easier for both cat and owner, and discuss the silent illnesses that can be missed. Sally has been speaking at conventions and pet expos with Feline Fine Project supporters Tamar Arslanian, Dr. Liz Bales and Dr. Lynn Bahr.

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Sally’s personal journey with feline cancer

Sally is currently on the pet cancer journey again with her cat Marlin, shown in the photo at the top of this post. They share his story on his Instagram page, Marlin The Buddha Cat, in hopes of showing that cats living with cancer while being treated can have wonderful lives. Marlin’s life was saved when the tiniest of  bumps was detected during a routine vet visit. The “bump” turned out to be a mast cell tumor that had already metastasized to a lymph node. Marlin had surgery and is now being treated with chemotherapy, prednisolone and CBD’s. Nine months into treatment, Marlin is living life to the fullest, receiving mail from all over the world from fans who call themselves The Marlin Nation.

How you can help

If you’d like to support the Brodie Fund, you can do so by donating here. You can also help by volunteering and sharing the Brodie Fund’s message on your social media channels.

For more information, please visit The Brodie Fund website.

9 Comments on The Brodie Fund: Helping Pets Fight Cancer

  1. Boris
    June 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm (5 months ago)

    Regarding the “…care may extend the life of cats with good quality for months, and sometimes even years.” part.
    My cat, born somewhere in March 2007, was diagnosed with cancer after we noticed lumps around her breasts in summer of 2015. The first vet did some checks and said if results were bad he would recommend euthanasia. The results were good but when he started the operation he got scared or whatever and did not operate her.
    We took her to the second vet who did the operation and during the 3 years period she did have 5 of them total. His advice was not to do the chemo but just try to remove the tumors. She lived without any issues for 4 years more. She was a very strong cat. On March 16th 2019 she had to be euthanized.

    We never treated her bad but during those 4 years she was getting the special treatment from all of my family. I think it only got us more closer together. It was a lot of stress for us and her but she was happy and without pain. We did not wait until the very end since vet warned us about how hard would be for her if we waited a bit more. She just stopped eating for few days and we decided it would be the time.

    I wanted to write this to share with you how one cat with cancer could live 4 years more. I beg you to be ready and “fight” the cancer together with your pet and not give up easily, since they are fighters by nature.

    Reply
    • Sally Williams
      June 21, 2019 at 1:17 pm (5 months ago)

      Boris,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. You certainly gave her the gift of time and so much love. You explained so perfectly how close you get doing this time and how beautiful that bond is. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Jodi Ziskin
    June 19, 2019 at 3:51 pm (5 months ago)

    I heart Sally

    Reply
    • Sally Williams
      June 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm (5 months ago)

      Thank you Jodi 🙂

      Reply
  3. Louise
    June 19, 2019 at 10:25 am (5 months ago)

    One of my cats, Flynn that passed coming up on 5 yrs ago, had radiation. His treatment of radiation, gave us 2 years more of his love until, another cancer appeared in his jaw, which was inoperable or treatable. This foundation sounds great, and thank you for its story.

    Reply
    • Sally Williams
      June 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm (5 months ago)

      Louise, I am so sorry to read about your Flynn, but grateful that radiation gave you the gift of time.

      Reply
  4. Janine
    June 19, 2019 at 7:17 am (5 months ago)

    It’s great to hear there is help out there for those of us who might not be able to even consider treatment for our cats because of financial difficulties.

    Reply
    • Sally Williams
      June 19, 2019 at 4:22 pm (5 months ago)

      Thank you Janine.

      Reply
      • Patricia
        June 20, 2019 at 4:35 am (5 months ago)

        I have a cat with cancer tumors that are growing every day. I can’t afford any expensive treatment. I will contact The Brodie Fund.

        Reply

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