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Learning from a Courageous Dog with Cancer

January 03, 2019

On November 7, 2018, Francesca Pearson lost her best friend Bosch to cancer. She organized a Facebook fundraiser in memory of her dog with a $200 goal. The story of Bosch touched others and she surpassed her goal with a total of $651 raised for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). We spoke to Francesca about how she began fundraising, what makes a successful fundraiser, and why she supports CRI. 

Bosch the Dog in Black and White photo

What inspired you to start this fundraiser?

I wanted to raise money to fight cancer in memory of my dog Bosch. He was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in February 2014. He went into remission for a couple years. When the cancer came back none of the treatment options worked. Bosch was 12 years old when we said goodbye on November 7, 2018. He was a happy, loving dog through all of it. He never failed to greet his caregivers with kisses and a wagging tail, even after years of treatment. We all learned from him. He was courageous.

Bosch the Dog dressed as a lion

Why did you choose to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute?

I chose to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute because the work they do benefits both humans and other species. I also chose CRI because they have a four star rating in Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. 

Bosch the Dog with a Regal Air

Besides Bosch, what impact has cancer had in your life?

Over the years of caring for Bosch, I would see posts on Facebook requesting that people cut and paste messages about how people suffer with cancer. I know many people who have cancer or are in remission. I’ve had friends and coworkers die too soon from cancer. I’ve known children who have lost the fight. I took care of my mother when she had a double mastectomy to treat her breast cancer. 

I don't like cut-and-paste messages about how much cancer sucks for many reasons. I haven’t had cancer, but I’ve lived with the helplessness that comes from caring for loved ones with cancer. No one needs to remind people that cancer sucks. It does. We all know it does. We need to find a way to stop cancer.

Bosch the Dog lying down

What feedback have you gotten about your fundraiser?

Several of the friends who donated thanked me for the fundraiser. I think it's a testament to the degree to which people have suffered with cancer. I believe it gave some individuals a way to honor their own loved ones lost to or currently suffering from cancer.

Baby Bosch with a tennis ball

What words of advice do you have for people who have never fundraised before? 

I think it needs to come from the heart. It also helps to show what the money will do, and that it will be well spent.

Bosch delivers a paper

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