Not only do kids & man's best friend develop many of the same, devastating cancers, but childhood and canine cancers are vastly underfunded and overlooked areas in the broader field of cancer research. In addition, kids who are in treatment are often removed from all that provides them comfort, including their homes, friends, families and pets. Young siblings are also dealing with a family upended by cancer, often unintentionally overlooked, and having to be shuffled amid competing priorities.
Project Hearts-N-Tails will help kids entering treatment (& siblings) better understand their journey through an educational illustrated children's book told through the eyes of a therapy dog, provide a matching stuffed dog "friend" to accompany them, and to bring them and their families together with therapy dog groups at special events designed to bring smiles during a difficult time. The books and events will also raise awareness of lifesaving comparative research to beat shared cancers.
This project also aims to bring critically-needed attention to the important collaborations in translational and comparative research that we are fostering, between pediatric and veterinary researchers, and which also need additional funding. We are beginning with cancer centers identified who have alignments also with veterinary schools and active pediatric and veterinary oncology research collaborations. The goal is to expand this program nationally to more than twenty centers
This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).