Introducing the Veterinary Cancer Foundation on Amelia Island
Veterinary Cancer Foundation
By Carreen Segal, RVT
CEO, Executive Director
June 13, 2019 11:00 a.m.
How does a non-profit foundation come to fruition? In our case, the Veterinary Cancer Foundation originated as our solution to the grief, frustration, guilt and hopelessness expressed by families facing impossible decisions after their pet family members were diagnosed with cancer. Our mission was to alleviate the emotional turmoil for these families by donating the necessary resources to help fight their pet’s cancer.
This is our journey…
In 1985 I relocated to California from New Jersey and began my career in veterinary medicine as a Registered Veterinary Oncology Nurse. During the first twenty years of my career my primary responsibilities were administering chemotherapy and radiation therapy to our patients as well as holding the Technical Supervisor position at several veterinary hospitals in the area.
In 2005 the veterinarian, I had worked with for the majority of those years, and I decided to partner and open a new veterinary oncology practice called Pawspice. There we continued to treat pets with cancer, advanced stage disease and end of life care, but now my role in our veterinary hospital was very different. For the next twelve years, as a practice owner, I performed administrative duties, managed staff, supervised patient care while educating and supporting our patient’s family members. It is from these families that I became keenly aware of and completely embraced the human-animal bond.
Immediately after working directly with these families the focus of my career path shifted. From veterinary oncology nurse to practice owner to becoming an advocate for both the patients and their families.
Sadly, over my thirty-two years in veterinary medicine, I have witnessed countless families anguish as they did not have the financial resources necessary to help their animal companions faced with cancer. They were left with no other option than early euthanasia for their pet and devastation for their family.
In response to this heartbreaking scenario, in 2013, we established a non-profit 501c (3), the Veterinary Cancer Foundation. The Veterinary Cancer Foundation is committed to offering financial assistance to families of veterinary cancer patients, eliminating financial hardship and providing the opportunity to challenges their pet’s cancer with the highest standard of compassionate care.
In 2017 my husband and I decided it was time for me to retire from veterinary medicine and continue working solely with the foundation. It was also time for us to move back to the east coast to be closer to our families. Our search began looking for the perfect location. During this time, we traveled to Amelia Island for the first time to attend the Concourse Event, and fell in love with the island immediately. The beaches, the live oak trees, the turtle nests, the traffic-less roads, the weather and the dog friendly atmosphere all make for a perfect fit for our family. We’ve been here now just under 2 years and Amelia Island has exceeded all of our expectations.
Testa Rossa and Enzo agree!!!!