The Never Ending Fight: Standing with Bridget
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Six years ago, Leea Kimble noticed a stray dog hanging out near the auto dealership she worked at. For nearly two weeks she watched as the cunning mutt sneakily extracted food from animal controls traps. One day that mutt decided her time being homeless was over, and approached the employees at the Denver car dealership.
“She just kind of picked me,” said Leea. “I was in no way ready for a dog, but she was looking for an owner and that ended up being me. I had recently purchased a little town home and it had a yard so I thought ‘why not?’”
Bridget quickly became a major fixture in Leea’s life. The 70lb Chow and Shepherd mix was loved around the office and was referred to as the work mascot. Bridget embraced Leea’s active lifestyle and accompanied her on daily 5 – 10 mile runs, enjoying all the engaging features of the outdoors. The duo’s family eventually grew larger as Leea met her soon to be husband Jeff, whom Bridget welcomed with open paws. However, Bridget’s lifestyle underwent a drastic change when the energetic canine began to suffer from health issues.
“Bridget was diagnosed with pancreatitis and needed extensive treatment,” said Leea. “After her bout with pancreatitis she didn’t like to run much, and preferred to walk, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to be outside and enjoying as much sun as she could get. After that first spurt of health issues, we decided to insure Bridget with Nationwide.”
The family decided to extend their pack in 2014 by bringing home another dog named Jenkins. After a rough start, Bridget grew into her elder role, helping the younger pup learn the rules of the house and molding an inseparable bond. Bridget and the Kimble’s life had come together and grown into an amazing family, but little did they know, devastating news was looming.
Last July, Leea noticed that Bridget had developed an odd limp and took her to the veterinarian for a check-up. Bridget had suffered from hip issues in the past and Leea was concerned that she was having pain in her joints.
“At first, her veterinarian thought that she may have just been sore from over playing with a neighbor dog,” said Leea. “He prescribed a different medication and we tried that for a few days, but her limp wouldn’t go away. I took her back to the veterinary office and that’s when everything really started.”
Upon their return to the office, the veterinary staff took X-rays of Bridget’s legs and made a grisly discovery. Bridget had a massive tumor on one her legs and was suffering from Osteosarcoma, a commonly fatal type of bone cancer.
“The news was devastating,” said Leea. “The veterinarian gave us couple options. We could either pursue treatment which would hold off the disease and extend her life a few years or we could give her pain medication and only have a few months. We love Bridget and decided to do everything possible to give her more happy years.”
A couple days later, the Kimble family took Bridget to a canine oncology specialist, and within a week Bridget was in surgery to remove the tumor. Not only was the surgery a success, but the team was able to extract the tumor without needing to amputate Bridget’s leg, which is often required in similar cases. Within weeks of her surgery Bridget began a chemotherapy plan that included numerous sessions of Intravenous Fluid (IV) based sessions.
“You would never guess that she’s fighting cancer,” said Leea. “She’s been great since the beginning of her treatment and she still loves to play and run around like normal. She still begs to get her treats and loves going outside to enjoy the sunshine.”
As of today, Bridget is nearly done with her first rounds of chemotherapy. Soon she will move away from IV treatments and into a more comfortable pill based treatment. While the treatment has prevented the disease from spreading to her major organs, Leea knows that the cancer will eventually prevail.
“We know Bridget is living on borrowed time, and we want to make sure that it’s the best borrowed time possible,” said Leea. “She’s been so strong though the whole ordeal and we’ll continue to provide her with the treatment she needs to make sure she lives a full and happy life. Having Nationwide has made trips to veterinarian for Bridget’s treatment much easier because we know that we’ll be covered. It’s given us peace of mind during a difficult time.”
You can help support pets like Bridget throughout November during National Pet Cancer Awareness Month by sharing this story with the #CurePetCancer. During the Month of November, Nationwide will donate $5 to the Animal Cancer Foundation for every picture, story or post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #CurePetCancer. Visit http://www.curepetcancer.com to find out how you can raise awareness and $30k for cancer research.