When my lively American Pit Bull Terrier, Sophie, began showing some unusual symptoms in October 2010, my veterinarian referred us to Manhattan NYC Veterinary Specialists.  After days of inpatient monitoring and diagnostics, the NYCVS team found lymphoma in Sophie's bone marrow.  Sophie and I are very closely bonded, so my buddy's diagnosis was devastating to me.  Dr. Karen Oberthaler explained that Sophie's age and initial good health made her an excellent candidate for chemotherapy, but the financial burden of treatment was so daunting that I met again with Dr. Oberthaler to discuss other alternatives.  It was then that I learned about Frankie's Friends and met with Vivian Llodra, who in a matter of moments gave me hope that the Zeus Varis Fund may be able to help. When I learned that the Zeus Varis Fund would make it possible for me to try chemotherapy for Sophie, I was overcome with gratitude.  I am not a person who uses the word "miracle" casually, but your compassionate gift has been nothing less.  Without the Fund, I would forever be troubled with the question of whether I tried everything that I could for Sophie.  We are very early in her treatment and the road ahead of us will not be easy, but I am now free to focus on making the most of our time together.  The peace of mind you have provided me is priceless.

It is barely possible to convey the impact of a pet on one's life in a few paragraphs, but in short, Sophie has upended my life in the sweetest way during our five plus years together.  In addition to keeping me in stitches with her flawless comic timing and reminding me not to "sweat the small stuff," she has also inspired me to become an advocate for puppy mill legislation and pit-bull breed awareness.  She remains a true crusader, and being able to give her the best care possible makes me feel that I am somehow repaying her for all that she has done.

No gesture can ever suffice to repay you, but I want you to know that when I run the NYC Marathon in 2011, I'll be raising funds in the name of Dr. Varis' precious Zeus.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jenny and Sophie