Cancer Survivor: Just in Time

Valley Village, CA


Emma5Emma, a twelve-year-old Golden Retriever, was Melanie’s steadfast companion. She had been with Melanie through some of the toughest situations that life had thrown at her. When her marriage ended, Emma was the one who felt her tears.


The week her divorce became final, Melanie’s father also passed away. Again, it was Emma who gave her the love and companionship she needed at such a dark time.


Emma, too, had her share of challenges. An undiagnosed inflammatory bowel disease nearly cost the dog her life until her vet finally figured out the problem. Facing the bill for a two-week stay, Melanie never thought twice about selling her car to pay for Emma’s treatment. “My friends thought I was crazy,” she said. That didn’t matter to Melanie. She just wanted her dog to pull through, and she did.


Emma has also had some downright inexplicable medical conditions. Once, she developed a tumor on her spine, which Melanie could clearly see on the x-rays. Within a few weeks, it disappeared suddenly. Another time, Emma developed white spots on her eyes, became blind and deaf. Those conditions eventually faded, too, much to everyone’s surprise.


But when Emma recently became sluggish, Melanie thought it was her arthritis kicking up. She didn’t think too much about it until Emma literally slid down the stairs. Concerned that she might have hip dysplasia, Melanie took her to the vet.


Emma6Dr. Blake found that Emma had two golf ball sized tumors in her throat, which turned out to be T-cell lymphoma, the most aggressive form of cancer. Devastated and struggling to pay her bills, Melanie applied for Care Credit but was denied. Not knowing what else to do, she used her rent money for Emma’s first chemotherapy treatment. For her second treatment, she borrowed money. Her neighbors also pitched in with a yard sale. Still, it wasn’t enough.


Then she learned of organizations that would help with funding. Immediately, she began submitting financial aid applications. Each time, the money would arrive just in time to pay for a chunk of Emma’s treatments. As soon as we received Melanie’s application, we knew we wanted to help. As you can imagine, Melanie was grateful beyond words to hear from us.


However, Emma did not respond to treatment for six weeks. Dr. Blake was down to two last chemo drugs to try. If they did not work, Emma would be out of options. Finally, Emma’s system did respond and she began to rally.


Emma’s cancer is now in remission, and we can’t say we’re really surprised. Emma has a habit of beating the odds. Now she bolts out of the door to go for walks. Her eyes are bright and happy. Everything about her says healthy and happy.


Emma4“I didn’t think I would make it because I didn’t have the money,“ Melanie said. “I am so grateful for The Mosby Foundation and all the funding that I’ve received.” And as we all know, gratitude is what makes big changes in life—just in time.