Hi, my name is Erin and this is my appeal to introduce little old me to you and my challenge to survive the Big C.
I was previously an ex-street dog from Romania and last year was rescued by a charity called Floris Friends Rescue. I had been badly beaten, abused and mistreated and humans were scary to me. Floris Friends Rescue however saw something in me and an appeal was made by them to find me a new safe home in the UK. Luckily my Mum saw my mug shot – I’m very pretty if I do say so myself – and said I had sad eyes which were enough for her to say she could try and save me. So 15 months down the line, here I am in the Oxfordshire countryside living the life of a true pampered dog. I’m safe and warm, have daily walks and I have a sister called Frieda who my Mum also rescued from the streets who I dearly love. I am very well behaved and when I’m good I get treats! I’m truly loved by my family and when Mum goes away for a weekend or holiday I go and stay with my grandparents who also spoil me rotten.
I’ve really settled into my UK life and have learnt English, although to be honest it took a while. Mum and me had long talks in the early days and I’ve really had to trust my Mum in helping me curb my fears. Initially when I moved to the UK, everything was scary to me and I didn’t even like to come into the house. Living in the flowerbed was good enough for me; luckily it was summer so the weather didn’t have much of an effect on me! All the noises you take for granted scared me, whether it was the kettle, microwave, TV or radio I couldn’t stand them and often made a hasty retreat to the comfort of the back garden where I felt safest. But Mum told me that I was a big girl now and soon these noises would become part of normal everyday life.
Everything was going well but Mum discovered some abnormal bleeding and took me to the vet. As I had been spayed, the bleeding didn’t make sense and I had to go through lots of prodding, tests and scans at the vets to understand what was wrong. My vets at Abivale know me really well after all the visits I’ve had to them. They initially prescribed me with a course of low toxicity chemotherapy and this solved the initial bleeding and all the lumps that the vet could previously feel have now mercifully gone. However, I’ve recently bled again so the vet referred me specialists and I’ve finally been diagnosed with a Transmissible Venereal Tumour (TVT), which is pretty common in street dogs where this form of cancer is transmitted from dog to another through mating. What makes the situation complicated for me is that the tumour is in my reproductive tract and getting to the tumour by way of surgery is difficult, hence chemotherapy has been advised as the preferred option.
The CT scan to find the tumour cost over £2,000, which Mum paid for, but as I had insurance cover up to £4,000 for the initial chemotherapy treatment we are struggling to pay the cost for the final session of chemotherapy that I need. The vet recommend a course of 3-4 sessions of some strong toxic drugs, even stronger than what I’ve had before, which will cost up to a further £4,000.
So here I am, sharing my Big C journey and starting my own fundraising page in the hope of raising the money to cover the costs of my treatment. My Mum says that the pain that I have been in for all these weeks doesn’t bear thinking about after the personal journey I’ve been on and yet I’ve soldiered on and showed no signs of discomfort. Mum says that she was unaware of what problems were ahead when she took me on but that she wouldn’t change a thing... she also says that we’ll find a way to get me “sorted” as I only deserve the best after the start in life I’ve had.
If anyone would like to contribute my Mum and I would of course be most grateful for any amount you can donate. All money raised will go towards paying for my chemotherapy treatment, and any extra funds will be donated to Floris Friends Rescue. I plan to keep everyone updated on the progress of my treatment and hopefully kicking the Big C into touch. If anyone can help by sharing and donating no matter how big or small the amount, I would be one step closer and truly grateful to continue this second start in my life that I’ve been blessed with.