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A true K9 hero needs your help! 

Virginia Beach, Va. – Cyril, a bomb-smelling dog for the U.S. Navy, loved going to work every day of his career. Whether checking the vehicles coming in to military bases, or sniffing suspicious objects, Cyril never hesitated to do the work that keeps America safe.

So when Cyril came down with cancer, there was never any doubt his former military handler, Antonio Fernandez, would stand by him. Frankie's Friends needs your help to honor these heroes for their service, and help pay for the treatment Cyril needs to extend his life. 

Cyril is now getting chemotherapy at BluePearl Veterinary Partners.  And Fernandez is grateful for the additional time he and Cyril will have together.

“He gave a lot to this country and he didn’t even know he was giving it,” Fernandez said. “Just to get to spend time with him and see him comfortable and happy means pretty much everything.”

After five years as a master-at-arms with the Navy, Fernandez is in the process of transitioning out of the military.  Cyril, 8, a German shepherd, retired about two years ago.  The two worked together in the Navy for about 15 months, while stationed in Bahrain.

During a visit to Cooke Veterinary Medical Center the staff noticed an enlarged spleen and lymph nodes. Later diagnosis proved Cyril has stage 4 lymphoma.  

Dr. Nicholas Rinaldi is treating Cyril at BluePearl’s Town Center hospital, with the goal of giving the former military dog the best quality of life he can possibly have. Cyril is getting a series of chemotherapy medicines under a regimen known as CHOP, also called a Modified Madison Wisconsin Protocol. 

“I think I fell in love with Cyril the first time I met him,” Rinaldi said. He is impressed by the strong bond between Fernandez and Cyril, and even that Fernandez’s friends have sometimes volunteered to bring in Cyril for treatment, when Fernandez had military duties.

 “There are a lot of people who care about Cyril,” Rinaldi said. “It seems like Cyril kind of wins the hearts of people that he meets.”

Fernandez agrees. He is grateful that Rinaldi is providing such sophisticated care for Cyril, and he also is grateful that the non-profit national charity Frankie’s Friends has also stepped in to help with the cost of Cyril's care. 

The goal of all this is very simple, Fernandez said. “I want him to live as long as he can and be as comfortable as he can,” Fernandez said.

Danielle Martin, Executive Director of Frankie's Friends said, "We're so grateful for both Cyril and Fernandez's service. They deserve all the help we can give. We're confident the community will come together to assist them in their time of need, as they have for all of us through their service for so many years."  

Please consider helping Cyril with his cancer treatments by making a donation today. 


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Frankie's Friends
2950 Busch Lake Blvd
Tampa FL 33614

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