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Zeke Fund

GRF Leads Fight Against Canine Cancer


Zeke portrait


“Cancer is rapidly overtaking our beloved breed,” says Dr. Mike Lappin, veterinarian and former Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) vice president. In fact, the statistics from the most recent health survey for Golden Retrievers suggest that 1 in 5 Goldens will be affected by hemangiosarcoma, and 1 in 8 will be stricken with lymphoma. In fact, it is estimated that up to 66% of male and 57% of female Goldens will succumb to cancer. That is why the GRF, in cooperation with the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF), has built a solid history of support for research studies addressing these and other critical health issues that impact Golden Retrievers.text

The Zeke Cancer Research Fund

FC/AFC Mioak's Smoke'n Zeke was a once in a lifetime dog. With a "just show me what you want” attitude in training and when running in field trial competition, this special Golden owned by Bill and Mary Glenn set a record for Goldens that may never be equaled. While still a young dog, he qualified for six National Championships and was a finalist at the June,1994 National Amateur Field Trial. The joy of that win was cut short when, at the end of August that same year, Zeke was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was only 5 ½ years of age.

Zeke initially responded well to chemotherapy. That autumn he hunted the golden fields of the high plains with Bill and Mary, rousting pheasants and sage hens on their way to the St. Louis National Open Retriever Championship. One month later, in December, 1994, Zeke succumbed to the disease that he could no longer battle.

Zeke's death is tragically not unique. Goldens of all ages are diagnosed with a variety of cancers at alarming rates. In recognition of this disturbing trend, Bill and Mary donated $10,000 to the Golden Retriever Foundation in 1999 to establish a canine cancer research fund in memory of their beloved Zeke. In making their gift, they stated, "Cancer in Goldens is a very important issue for us, and we hope this donation may encourage others to join us in funding research."

Since that initial gift, the Golden Retriever Foundation has awarded $800,000 in cancer study grants to researchers around the world who are racing to stop the loss of our dogs to cancer’s horrible effects.

Many others have responded to the Glenns’ invitation to support cancer research, having experienced the sadness of losing one or more of their own Goldens to this disease. Donations to the Zeke Cancer Research Fund support canine cancer studies in some of the nation’s foremost research facilities.

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