New Canine Cancer Charity is Launched

Nearly 200 animal lovers gathered for a party officially launching the Fairfield-based The Riedel & Cody Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing knowledge, hope and funding for people who have a dog or cat with cancer.

The Riedel & Cody Fund was founded by Mark Tillinger and David Duchemin, who both lost their beloved dogs to cancer last year.  The fund was named in memory of Tillinger‘s Bernese Mountain Dog Riedel and Duchemin's Rottweiler Cody.  

From their own experiences, both Duchemin and Tillinger learned just how heartbreaking a pet’s cancer diagnosis can be.  Not only are there questions and concerns about treatment options, but there is also the matter of treatment which can be costly. Duchemin and Tillinger wanted to create a place where pet owners experiencing what they had could find information, receive support, apply for an outright grant or conduct fundraising to pay for a pet’s treatment.

Jill Rappaport, a correspondent on NBC's TODAY show was excited to learn about the Riedel & Cody Fund and offered her support and agreed to represent the foundation as National Spokesperson.  She is the author of the book "Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell,” an inspiring story about her dog Jack, who lost a leg to cancer before losing his battle with the disease.

Duchemin told the crowd of animal lovers gathered at the October 23 event that Tillinger took a conversation they shared about their dogs and transformed it "into a dream come true."

"They (Riedel and Cody) changed our lives,” said Tillinger.  “Their legacy is the Riedel & Cody Fund, which we feel will change the world.”

Through their website www.cancerpets.org, members of the The Riedel & Cody Fund can: 

    * Conduct an online fund raising campaign
    * Apply for a grant-in-aid
    * Get in-depth information about cancer, including treatment options, new cancer therapies and clinical trials
    * Communicate with other people who have a pet with cancer and request the help of a mentor
    * Locate board certified oncologists and qualified providers of holistic and complementary therapy
    * Participate in online forums or seminars
    * View videos to help make the critical decisions that lie ahead

The cancerpets.org website is basically “owned” by members who join by making a donation to the Fund with 100 percent of the donations going to the treatment of a pet with cancer who would not otherwise receive the needed care. This unique community of pet owners and animal advocates creates much of the content on the site by offering mentoring to other members seeking help and using the individualized services for their own needs. It is expected that many of the members who join will come because of the love they have for our four-footed companions whether or not they currently have a pet with cancer.

For more information about The Riedel & Cody Fund, to become a member or make a donation, please visit the website at www.cancerpets.org

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