RosieJourney to the Cure
Rosie’s Journey to the Cure
Rosie is a young, loving pit bull saved by Save-An-Angel, a non-profit animal rescue. Save-An-Angel, founded by Kristie and Johnny Sullens, was borne from the very disease affecting Rosie and millions of other dogs worldwide – canine cancer. When the founders of SAA discovered their beloved dog, Angel, was suffering from a type of lymphoma with a 0-2% chance of survival, they launched a lengthy and expensive campaign to save her, even giving up their wedding rings and honeymoon to do so. The subsequent bone marrow transplant (BMT), at this point in its infancy with canines, cost close to $16,000. This new cutting-edge technology to be used on Rosie is a fraction of the cost SAA funded for Angel, and hopefully will have a profound effect on treatment not only for canines, but for children and the elderly suffering from leukemia and lymphoma.
Rosie will travel over 2,500 miles for the special surgery with Dr. Edmund Sullivan of Bellingham Veterinary to receive the BMT and new type of radiation, allowing Rosie to receive the transplant for free. Dr. Sullivan is the veterinarian uniformly credited with doing one of the first non-experimental marrow transplants for a dog in the Pacific Northwest – in 2004 on a golden retriever named Comet who had T-cell lymphoma.
The new radiation is being applied as a potential treatment for children and the elderly suffering from these diseases. Radiation of this type is new and places less stress on the body, making it a better treatment option for the very young and old, as opposed to typical radiation.
A bone marrow transplant with traditional radiation offers patients a 40% chance of being fully cured after the transplant; the cure rate with chemotherapy alone is 0-2%.
The bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a procedure saving thousands of human lives every year and 100% of transplant procedures performed on humans were performed on dogs first. Today the technology has come full circle and is now available to the dogs that made it possible in the first place.