By Carole Grosch
When Matthew Jackson visited the Fresno County SPCA in 2008, he was not planning to adopt a dog. “That all changed when Skye came through the door, and I immediately felt a connection with him,” said Jackson. “I ended up picking him up a few days later after his shots and discharge paperwork was completed. We decided to let my younger brother, who was diagnosed with cancer, name him.”
Skye, a ten-year-old Siberian Husky, was named for his beautiful blue eyes. “He is the most loving, four-legged companion anyone could ever know with the most unique personality,” says Jackson, who lives in Clovis. “Skye loves car rides, being outdoors, exploring and hiking, fishing, and playing with other dogs at the dog park. Skye is extra special to our family because he holds a special memory that is attached to my younger brother, who is no longer with us.”
Towards the end of February, Skye developed an anal gland infection, and his vet felt a small tumor in the gland, which was determined to be cancer. It was a heartbreaking diagnosis. Surgery and treatment were necessary if Skye was to survive.
Jackson is an Environmental Science Hydrology graduate student with minimal financial resources. During a search for non-profits that help fund veterinary emergencies, he discovered the Magic Bullet Fund (MBF) located in Yorktown Heights, New York. He applied and was approved to receive assistance for Skye’s treatment.
“My experience with MBF has been nothing but fantastic, as the volunteers go above and beyond to help,” said Jackson. “I highly recommend anyone who might need help, or just wants to make donations and be a sponsor, to reach out to MBF.”
Laurie Kaplan founded MBF in 2005. She named it after her dog, Bullet, a canine cancer survivor. The fund provides financial assistance for pet owners who have a dog or cat with cancer but cannot afford the high treatment costs. MBF helps raise donations for each pet.
The fund received a Great Nonprofits Top-Rated Badge, Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and 2020 Best of Ossining Award in the Non-Profit Organization.
As of 2019, MBF has helped over 700 dogs and their owners. Beginning this year, the fund also assists cat owners who need assistance for feline cancer treatments. The goal is to spare or prolong the life of a beloved companion.
Most families contribute some portion of the treatment fees, and MBF provides the amount that the family cannot pay. If chemotherapy drugs are needed, the fund has received a grant they will use to pay for the drugs, which lowers the amount required to be raised.
Skye’s treatment has a good chance of providing long term survival. Without treatment, the prognosis is far less certain.
“We appreciate every form of donation that we receive, as each donation moves us closer to our goal, and we are forever grateful,” said Jackson.
“Cancer is as unpredictable in pets as it is in humans,” said Kaplan. “We do not expect miracles for all of them, but we celebrate the ones we get. The real miracle for these families is that they can have more special moments that will become lasting memories, and the very important ability to say, ‘I fought for my pet ’s life!’’’
For more information about the Magic Bullet Fund, to apply for assistance or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit themagicbulletfund.org.