Magic Bullet Fund helps South Plymouth couple treat dog with cancer
A charity that helps dogs with cancer came to the aid of a South Plymouth family’s pet on Christmas.
PLYMOUTH – It was a Christmas Matt Pennucci and Karen Burke never envisioned. It was a Christmas they will never forget.
Three weeks before the holiday, the South Plymouth couple noticed their beloved dog, Sadie, had a swollen jaw. Within the week, the 9-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi was diagnosed with lymphoma and given only weeks to live without treatment.
But the couple could not imagine life without their dog. They rescued Sadie when she was 6, a year before the birth of their daughter, Arya. Those two have been inseparable, with Sadie enduring the rambunctious attentions of the toddler with love and grace.
Not willing to consider palliative care for their dog, the couple signed Sadie up for 18 weeks of chemotherapy and figured they would just have to make sacrifices to make the payments. And then on Christmas morning, they got an email from the folks at the Magic Bullet Fund, a charity that helps owners of dogs with cancer.
The fund was one of several the couple appealed to after researching options online. It was the only one that came through.
Magic Bullet made a $500 donation to Sadie’s treatment program on Christmas and agreed to take Sadie on as one of the featured pets in their ongoing campaign to fight canine cancer.
In less than two weeks, the campaign has already raised more than $2,800 for Sadie’s care.
Dog owner turned author Laurie Kaplan started the fund after helping her dog, Bullet, beat lymphoma. She wrote “Help Your Dog Fight Cancer” about her experience and her charity has since helped more than 600 dogs fight the disease.
Pennucci, who works as an automotive damage appraiser, said the email from Magic Bullet was the best Christmas present he could have asked for and has given Sadie a new lease on life.
Doctors gave Sadie only a month to live after the diagnosis. With treatment, dogs average 12 to 18 more months, though some, like Bullet, live longer, he said.
Sadie has received four chemotherapy treatments in Buzzards Bay since diagnosis. Magic Bullet will now help coordinate Sadie’s treatment and distribute payments to reduce the cost to the family.
It’s a big help, Pennucci said, because his fiancé has not been working since their daughter was born three months premature. Burke is now a stay-at-home mom who coordinates daily therapy sessions for Arya. Sadie is a great playmate and watchdog for both, so there was never any thought about not getting her treatment. It was more a matter of sacrifices, Pennucci said.
Since treatment started, the lump on Sadie’s face has seemingly disappeared and so have swollen lymph nodes elsewhere. Better still, she continues to play fetch with her favorite deflated soccer ball.
Pennucci said the fund prevents him from contacting the anonymous donors who are helping Sadie, but he recognizes some as friends and relatives he can personally thank. The others will receive a general thank you letter when the campaign ends.
The clock is running. The campaign runs for only 30 days, so anyone looking to fund Sadie’s treatment through Magic Bullet must do so in the next few weeks. People can make donations at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/SADIE or by texting SADIE to 71777.
Pennucci also encourages people to visit the Magic Bullet website to learn more about the program and consider helping other dogs in need of cancer treatment as well at www.TheMagicBulletFund.org.
Pennucci said it is important for pet owners to understand that there are options available for people facing large expenses to care for their animals.