Viewing entries tagged
Canine Lymphoma

Sunny: Has a new sunny outlook on life!

I just wanted to take the time to say thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me with my Sunny. He is looking so much better now and has gained weight. Now I have hope for a future with my Sunny Bunny. I would like to tell you his story. He was born in the basement of my building. His mom was feral and she was eventually trapped and sent to a sanctuary. His twin sister died of poisoning from licking oil based paint that was stuck to her fur, and his other sister is still living out in the streets on my block, and sometimes still sleeps in the basement of my building. A sweet old lady feeds her. I remember his mom being pregnant and I remember Sunny being so tiny following his mom around the block. One day he disappeared. A year later a crazy alcoholic woman in my building that is known for taking in kittens and then throwing them out when they are grown, came to me and said  that she had a boy cat named Sunny. She said that she had no money for cat food. I bought her cat food and took it to her home instead of giving her money. I knew if I didn't she would just buy alcohol and cigarettes. I offered to have Sunny fixed for her, she refused. I warned her that his behavior would change if she didn't let him get fixed, she also had another unaltered female cat in her home.  She still refused. A week later I was walking my dog in the back of the apartment building when I noticed a large yellow cat that I haven't seen before looking lost. He followed me into the building and up the stairs to my apartment. I realized this was the kitten that went missing from the front of my building, and the one the crazy lady called Sunny. The crazy lady had thrown him out, as expected. I asked her where was Sunny, and she lied and said she gave him to a friend. I told her I found Sunny out in the back and that he had started to sniff at her apartment looking for her. She said Sunny was a bad cat. Well, he's mine now, and is the sweetest baby in the world. He is so good and never does anything wrong.

I couldn't ask for a better companion. He does wake me up in the middle of the night with head bumps while I'm trying to sleep, but who could get angry with that? He plays with my rat named Local and is so gentle with him. I found another cat in front of the building that is his brother from another litter. They love each other. I am sending you a picture of Sunny with his brother Fela, one with me and Sunny, and another of Sunny with Local, my rat.

Sunny is only 3 years old, and I was so devastated to hear he had lymphoma. After all this poor guy went through in his life, to end up like this breaks my heart. My family came to visit him in the hospital when he was hospitalized. He's stayed in my sister's home, and my mother's home when I needed them to babysit Sunny, and he was so well behaved that they asked me to bring back for a visit. If I hadn't had your help, the help of Frankie's Friends, and Dr. Lachowicz (the oncologist), Sunny would be gone from my life. I just suffered the loss of my dog named Stranger from old age (14-1/2 years old) in January, and the loss of my cat Butterscotch from old age (16 years old) last September. It's just too much pain to endure losing another family member so soon. The day he was diagnosed  with cancer I had been laid off from my job. I thought to myself, "What else could go wrong?" With your help things finally got better. The doctor said he is reacting positively to the chemo and he will be weaned off of the chemo little by little. What a relief. I just wanted you to know where Sunny came from, and now his life is turning around for the better. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Sincerely, Miguel

Angel is Alive Thanks to Frankie's Friends!

Our dog Angel was diagnosed with stage II lymphoma in September of 2009.  Thankfully, Angel was a candidate for a life-saving canine bone marrow transplant at NC State; the bone marrow transplant is the only possible cure for dogs with lymphoma.  The only thing standing between Angel and her cure was money.  We were able to fund the chemotherapy, and we had to raise the additional $16,000 needed for Angel’s BMT.  We applied everywhere for financial aid, and after several weeks we finally had a breakthrough. Angel’s vet emailed Frankie’s Friends asking if they had any grants available in our area.  Frankie’s Friends wasn’t able to offer a donation, however their offer was incredible.  Frankie’s Friends agreed to accept donations on Angel’s behalf.  This was just the breakthrough we needed!  Once Frankie’s Friends decided to help we had instant credibility and were able to offer donors a tax deduction.  Suddenly, doors flew open where walls once stood.  It was amazing!  Because of Frankie’s Friends we were able to fund-raise for Angel on Facebook, and we raised close to $2,500!  Frankie’s Friends donated directly to the school when Angel checked in and the rest is history.

May 6, 2011 marks Angel’s 7th birthday and her one-year post-BMT anniversary!  Angel just received her one-year post-BMT test results and she is still 100% CANCER FREE without medication or radiation. : )

THANK YOU Frankie’s Friends for helping us Save Angel’s life!  We are forever grateful for your kindness. You are TRUE SAINTS!!


Kristie & Angel

Bear: Doberman Cuddles & Love

Words can really not express how thankful we are that our Bear was chosen to receive funding for his cancer treatments. Bear means the world to us, and you gave him the opportunity to become healthy. You also gave us hope. You are very much someone we think of daily and we are so grateful to cross life paths with you. Your generosity has truly inspired us to become involved in foster care of both dogs and cats, and to strive to give. We hope to someday be able to provide funding for a pet in need like you have done for our family. Bear has been through two surgeries recently and has recovered remarkably well from both. Our biggest issue was trying to have him not run around. He is finishing radiation today and still enjoys coming in for treatment each day. He has been having some really happy days lately! We get him out of bed in the morning by saying, “Want to go to see Dr. Lachowicz, Alba, and Darlene!" He jumps right out of (our) bed with his ears sticking straight up and heads to the door. We are very grateful to NYC Veterinary Specialists who have “spoiled” our Bear. We joke that we are leaving him at daycare each time we drop him off.

Everyone (really everyone) at NYCVS has been amazing and Bear has been given wonderful care. Bear is a gentle soul, who is happy just to be loved. We raised Bear from day one, when our other Dobie, Chyna, gave birth to a litter. He was a round pup that loved to cuddle so it is easy to see how we fell in love with him. Bear has done wonders for the Doberman breed. He is kind and gentle, and very friendly. His amazing demeanor and warmth has helped others become more interested in the Doberman. He has helped people who are not Dobie owners see what we see; that they are the best “cuddlers”, are sweet, smart, and very sensitive to our moods. Bear and Chyna are our “kids”, and we both credit them with getting us through some very difficult times. They saved us, and your kindness helped our family immensely.

I have enclosed some pictures of Bear for you to enjoy. He is quite a sweet boy and we believe these will bring you enjoyment. We will keep you updated on Bear’s continued progress! Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

Warmest regards,

Amy and Joseph Bear & Chyna

Loki: Playful & Mischievous Again

I cannot begin to thank you enough for funding my cat’s lymphoma treatments through your foundation, the Zeus Varis Fund. Without your assistance, Loki and I would have had little hope as my limited financial resources could never have supported the world-class care he is currently receiving. I rescued Loki (and his sister, Freya) over eight years ago, and he has been a fearless and loving little character since the day I brought him home. I’m often inspired by his tireless curiosity, and his warmth and unconditional affection have helped get me through more than a few tough days. Needless to say, Loki’s diagnosis before Christmas broke my heart.

After researching possible courses of treatment, I was very lucky to reach Dr. Oberthaler.  My experience with her and the staff at the NYC Veterinary Specialists (Alba Salcedo, et al.) has been extraordinary. Dealing with professionals whose competency is matched by their warmth and genuine compassion for the animals has made a very difficult time for me much easier. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to them.

In closing, I am elated to report that since beginning treatment in early January, Loki’s condition has improved dramatically. He has gone from hiding under the bed and eating very little to his former spirited self…chasing his sister, eating like a lion and creating endearing mischief. Although Loki may never be permanently cured (although I remain cautiously hopeful), I sleep a bit easier knowing that through your generosity and compassion and the talents of Dr. Oberthaler and her staff, I was able to provide Loki with the best care possible and additional time with his family.

Every day I get to spend with him is a gift. Thank you again for caring.



Boris: Successfully Undergoes Surgery Due to Generosity

I am writing this letter to thank you for the grant you provided for Boris, my dog. Without your help I would not have been able to pay for his surgery or the treatment he received afterward. I have no better words to express my feelings toward  your  generosity and kindness except to say, "Thank you."  Boris is doing very well and I am grateful for the outcome.

You gave Boris more time by my side.

Thank you,


Loki: Gone But Never Forgotten

This letter is to express our deepest and sincere appreciation to Frankie's Friends Zeus Varis Fund for your very generous support of our dog, Loki, for his cancer surgery and treatment.  Your fund allowed us to react quickly to an aggressive cancer without having to make impossible decisions based on our financial situation. Loki succumbed to his disease on March 2, 2011 and will leave an enormous space in our lives but we are indebted to the foundation for giving us more precious, quality time with him.  For this, we cannot thank you enough.

We are also extremely grateful to the staff at BluePearl-NY, with special regards to Vivian, Dr. Kyles, Dr. Bessler, Dr. Snells and all the technicians that helped along the way.  We are especially grateful for Dr. Karen Oberthaler, whose sensitivity and guidance throughout this experience, reassured and comforted us in an extraordinarily difficult time.

Our only real regret is that all animals are not able to have the level of care that Loki received.  It is in that spirit that we will continue to support and promote the Frankie’s Friend Charity, so that others may be afforded the same opportunities, we were lucky enough to receive.

Thank you all so very much,

Nickolaus and Whitney

Ten Common Signs of Cancer in Pets*

You can help your own pets by being alert for these 10 common warning signs of pet cancer! 1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow 2. Sores that do not heal 3. Weight loss 4. Loss of appetite 5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening 6. Offensive odor 7. Difficulty eating or swallowing 8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina 9. Persistent lameness or stiffness 10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

* American Veterinary Medical Association,

Kerry: Can't Keep a Good Pekingese Down

On behalf my family and our little Pekingese, Kerry, 11.5 years old, we would like to thank you for the generous help you gave us for his cancer surgery and treatment.  It certainly made our Christmas a bright one.  I was in rehabilitation for a spinal cord problem for five months. When I finally came home, my beloved Golden Retriever, Shannon and Kerry's best friend, was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done and she had to be put to sleep. Of course this broke my heart, I could not face losing Kerry too. Kerry was diagnosed with melanoma on her jaw, by Dr. Lewis Gelfand who did the initial operation, biopsied the growth and referred us to Dr. Joshua Lachowicz at NYC Veterinary Specialists. Kerry's prognosis was not good unless a second operation was preformed along with chemotherapy.

We will always be grateful to you, the Zeus Varis Fund,  NYC Veterinary Specialists, Dr.  Joshua Lachowicz, Dr. Mark Levy and Vivian Llodra for all of the care and assistance that was given to us.

It is three weeks since Kerry's surgery and treatment started. She has become a more active dog, playing with our two grandchildren and her new best friend Ginger our newly adopted golden retriever. Once again, thank you so much for giving us more time with Kerry.

God Bless You.

Forever Grateful, ~~~

Dolores & Kerry

Grey: A New Leash on Life

I want to say how utterly thankful we are to have Grey still with us.  After losing Harry in August,  my friend of nearly 14 years, to hemangiosarcoma, learning of Grey's lymphoma was devastating. Grey is doing wonderfully, despite his new hair style, fortunately, he's not too vain.  When I found him wandering lost in a National Forest in California nine years ago, he was an energetic and playful ball of fur.  Harry was in the car with me and patiently waited for two hours while I tried to catch Grey.  As soon as we brought Grey home from the vet, Harry welcomed him.  With my help, that was the first time Harry saved Grey.

Then, a few years later, we were evacuated during a California wildfire and took refuge at a friend's home.  I let the dogs out to use the yard and started making their dinner, when Harry came pounding on the glass window in a panic I had never seen before (or since).  I looked out to see Grey swimming poorly in a ash-covered swimming pool and rushed out to rescue him.  That was the second time Harry saved Grey.

Then, this past year, Harry became ill.  After learning it was cancer and not having insurance, we quickly tried to enroll our other pets.  It was then, after Grey's exam, that the doctor discovered his swollen lymph nodes.  If Harry hadn't gotten sick, at the rate Grey's lymph nodes were swelling, he might not have lived.  That was the last time Harry saved Grey and it cost him his life.

Four months later and Grey is a new dog.  He's learned to play again thanks to Katie's exuberance. He's even happy to go to the vet for his treatments -- he loves everyone there.  He is now in full remission and we're thankful for every healthy day we have left with him.  And, now he has a little sister to look out for him.

You can see him and Katie playing at

Thanks again.  We're all wearing the Frankie's Friends blue bracelets. Grey has his twisted onto his collar.

With humble gratitude,

Scott & Will

Sophie: A Miracle is Granted

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

Kaiser: Continues to Have a Howling Good Time

Thank you for the generous donation for Kaiser’s chemotherapy treatment. Kaiser was diagnosed with T-Cell lymphoma and was only given two to four more months to live. I was pretty devastated when I found out how much chemotherapy would cost. This gift has given Kaiser a chance at a couple of more months of quality of life that he wouldn’t be able to have without chemotherapy. Kaiser has been a part of my life since he was six-months-old. He is my first dog, and he has helped me grow throughout the years. He has taught me responsibility and how to appreciate the simple things in life. He always knew when to distract me with his goofiness to take a break from writing a stressful paper or when he thought I was studying too hard. Kaiser has also taught me patience because he chooses to listen only to me because he has “Siberian husky selective hearing.”

Because of your donation, Kaiser will continue to be his mischievous self at the dog park for many months to come. He will continue to “talk” and argue with me when he doesn’t agree. He will continue to teach his baby sister Kira the rules of the house because she has much to learn. He will enjoy another winter of snow; and his favorite, he will enjoy many more nights of sitting outside on the steps with me, just sniffing the air and enjoying life.

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and none of it would be possible without your gift to us. Kaiser and I are unbelievably grateful. Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Happy Holidays!


Mary & Kaiser


Buckeye: His Treatment Answers A Family's Prayers

Our family adopted Buckeye five years ago from the SPCA. He has since become a part of our family.  Buckeye is a very well-tempered canine  who is instantly taken in by any one he meets. Buckeye plays an important part in our family.  My husband is a disabled veteran and over the past few years has fallen on hard times; however Buckeye has been his tried and true friend and companion.  My husband has never had a lonely moment since Buckeye has come into our home.

Three weeks ago Buckeye was diagnosed with lymphoma and only had a few weeks to live without treatment. Not only our immediate family but our extended family and friends were devastated by the news. Without the help we are receiving from Frankie's Friends Charitable Pet Foundation it would be impossible for our family to fund treatment and give him a chance for a longer life.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to Frankie’s Friends and our diligent Doctors who quickly diagnosed and started treatment.

Thank you,

Brady and Dena


Tasha: Back to Chasing Squirrels

I want to let you know how much your support means to me and my family. Our wonderful and loving dog Tasha was diagnosed with lymphoma in early September. We were heartbroken and devastated by this news but our vets explained to us that Tasha's condition had a good chance of responding well to chemo treatments, so we started them that week. Tasha is doing much better! So far she has received four treatments. Her appetite and energy is back. Watching her run around and play you would never guess that she is sick. She goes running in the park with me every day, plays ball, and chases squirrels (never catches them) and is her happy, playful self again.

We cherish every day we have with our Tasha and are so grateful for the medical care she is receiving. Dr. Oberthaler and all the staff at NYC veterinary specialists have been kind and helpful.

Without the support of the Zeus Varis Fund of Frankie's Friends we would not be able to pay all of Tasha's medical bills. We are so very grateful for this fund and the loving support that makes it possible.

With much thanks and deep gratitude,


Maggie, Frank, and Tasha

Corkey: Thankful for Help

I deeply appreciate and want to thank you for your kindness and caring. This grant has helped my beloved cat Corkey in his lymphoma treatment. Words cannot express how I feel. Thank you so very much To Frankie's Friends and Dr. Varis who started this fund, and God Bless you. Raymond


Thanking Charlie's Angels

Dear Frankie's Friends, Charlie and I would like to thank you for allowing us to spend some more time together. Charlie and I first met in college and she took the long drive with me from Ohio to Florida as I took my first teaching job. I am not married and I don't have any kids so Charlie is my family. She is the face that I come home to each day and the warm body that snuggles next to me in bed at night. Charlie has truly been a blessing for me. I always tell people she knows all of my deepest secrets and will never tell anyone. :-) Without your donation Charlie and I would only have a short few weeks together. I am so thankful and have been telling everyone about your organization with the words "miracle workers". Thanks again for everything that you do and from our hearts to yours, you will never know the impact that you have on the lives of others.

God bless.

Abby and Charlie



Bob Barker: Taking A Bite Out Of Lymphoma

I cannot thank Frankie's Friends enough for the support they have provided me with.  I've worked in the banking field for over 12 years and was first laid off in the first quarter of 2008 and proceeded to be laid off two more times in the past two years and money has never been tighter than it is now. I've had my dog Bob since the day he was born.  I also have his father Romeo and the two of them are great buddies and don't like being apart.  When I first learned of his Lymphoma diagnosis, I think I was in shock.  Animals can't help  themselves and they look to their owners to ensure their health and well being. It made me sick to think my dog may not have a fighting chance because of my current job situation and bad timing.

I want to thank Frankie's friends for giving my dog a fighting chance and we will be in debt to you forever no matter what happens going forward.

Thanks So Much,




Helping Molly Fight Lymphoma

I would like to start off by thanking you so much for giving us a grant towards our dog's chemo treatment for lymphoma. Our dog is a golden retriever named Molly, who will be nine years old this month. We got Molly when she was eight-weeks-old and she has been a  joy ever since. When she was about six months old, my husband taught her to get the newspaper and she's been getting it ever since; no matter how heavy it is she will bring it to him. Then he taught her to get the mail from the mailman who puts a rubber band around the mail so it doesn't fall over, he even has the substitute mailmen do the same thing.

In May of 2008, we took Molly to the emergency vet, who sent us to a specialist for her lungs. She had Pulmonary Bolla (Pneumothorax), which she survived, thanks to the wonderful facility we took her to. In April of 2009, we took Molly to our vet, Dr. Michael Canfield who spotted a melanoma under her tongue. He recommended Dr. Curtis Kane of Florida Veterinarian Specialists, who gave her four radiation treatments. Fortunately she did very well. In June 2010 we took Molly to our vet for her check-up and he found she had lymphoma. We took her back to Dr. Kane, who confirmed it. She is still undergoing treatment.

As of this date, we have spent $19,000.00 for various reasons on Molly. Frankie's Friends helping us makes our life a lot easier knowing we are receiving help for our terrific dog, Molly.

God Bless Frankie's Friends, Dr. Curtis Kane and Dr. Michael Canfield for their special caring of animals.

Very truly yours,

Judythe & Arthur Unfricht



A Wonderful Gift is Made to Frankie's Friends

"I love my pet." "He's the best member of my family. He doesn't talk and he's always there for me." "I couldn't imagine my life without her; she means the world to me." These are all statements that you've either made about your pet or heard pet owners make. What happens when your pet is diagnosed with cancer and you can't afford the treatments? If you live in the New York City area, this devastating news may be easier to handle thanks to the generosity of Dr. Agnes Varis and the Zeus Varis Fund. This fund provides funding for cancer treatments to pets from families that cannot afford the cost of care at NYC Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Varis recently gave $100,000 to Frankie's Friends for the Zeus Varis Fund. When making this gift, Dr. Varis said, "We're a team. I write the check. (Frankie's Friends finds) the families in need. (The doctors, nurses and staff) work with the animals. We all have a part in this."

But there would be no "part" to have if it weren't for her. She is a true friend of animals!

Zeus, a domestic long-hair cat, and his sister, Kallee, a calico, were adopted in 1995 as kittens by Dr. Agnes Varis and her late husband, Karl Leichtman. After being diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2009, Zeus enjoyed a high-quality of life under the care of Dr. Timothy Rocha and the NYC Veterinary Specialists team until he died in June 2009. Dr. Varis named the fund is named in memory of Zeus and in honor of Dr. Rocha, Dr. Karen Oberthaler, and the oncology team at NYC Veterinary Specialists.



Extra Time Spent With Klowdy

Dear Dr. Agnes Varis, I would like to thank you for the support from the  Zeus Varis Fund and Frankie's Friends during my dog Klowdy's chemotherapy treatments for her lymphoma.Without your help, Klowdy would probably not have been around for another year after she was diagnosed in April 2009. With school loans and other bills, it was certainly difficult to treat Klowdy and afford the treatments, I am grateful for everything, from the support at NYCVS and Frankie's Friends. Although Klowdy recently passed away, I know I did my best in trying to prolong her life with lymphoma, thanks to the Zeus Varis Funds. I will definitely miss my best friend of nine years, but I know she is in a better place now. Klowdy gave me the best nine years!!!

Thank you greatly Dr. Agnes Varis!

Sincerely, Catherine K. & Klowdy



BJ Is Back to Being Warm & Fuzzy

BJ will be 13 this October. He was brought into the animal hospital to be euthanized three days shy of his 10th birthday. The vet had the owner relinquish him and long story short, he has since wiggled his way into my heart and home.  He has been the sweetest, most mellow dog I have ever known. This was a welcomed addition to my now soon to be 15-year-old mixed breed Lady (who was also scheduled to be euthanized by an owner who did not want her at the age of eight) and my three-year-old crazy cat Dinky (who was found on the side of the road at two weeks of age). In April I noticed that BJ's lymph nodes were enlarged and he was diagnosed with lymphoma. My heart sank as I had just lost my favorite aunt to lymphoma earlier that month after a 10-year remission. Immediately I was interested in pursuing chemo in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of remission for my sweet baby boy. The nurse gave me the estimate and I started to cry because there was no way that I would be able to afford the treatment. I decided to take it one week at a time and approved the first treatment and swiped my nearly maxed out credit card. The nurse and vet then turned my world right side up again when they mentioned Frankie’s Friends. To my delight BJ was approved for 75 percent coverage!

After his first treatment his lymph nodes literally shrank right before my eyes…unbelievable! He just received the third treatment of the Madison-Wisconsin protocol and his lymph nodes are now normal sizes. He did suffer from vomiting and diarrhea after the second treatment but that was short-lived with the help of anti-diarrheal and anti-nausea medication. He is back to his normal self and is just as warm and fuzzy as ever.

The stars have shined on us thanks to Frankie’s Friends. I saw a picture and story of Frankie and lit a candle in his honor. I plan on donating regularly to the fund as soon as I get back on my feet. This support has literally saved BJ's life and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Thank you again for all your thoughtfulness and support,


BJ and mom