Archive for the ‘Cancer Research’ Category

National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

ClancysCure Honors Golden Retriver Lost to Canine Cancer

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

You might recognize these two golden retrievers, Clancy and Chase. They kept guard outside of St. Mary’s Church on Greenwich Ave. for eight years until sadly their owner Rev. Monsignor Frank Wissel had to be put in a nursing home. Bill Gorgas and Barbara Davis saw that these two pups needed a new home and jumped on the opportunity.

Clancy had Hemangiosarcoma, a very common canine cancer in golden retrievers

“We probably went through about a month’s long process of adoption,” said Gorgas.

Chase and Clancy became a part of the family officially on May 14 of last year. Things were great for about a year until Clancy got sick one June night.

“He woke us up on a Sunday night breathing very heavily, and the next morning he was completely lethargic- wouldn’t go for a walk, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t lift his head,” said Gorgas.

They were then hit with the news that Clancy had Hemangiosarcoma, a very common cancer in golden retrievers.

“I’ve read 25 percent of all golden will die from that particular cancer,” said Davis.

“It’s very aggressive, it’s very quick. We actually lost him in two days,” said Gorgas.

Gorgas said the cancer began in the dog’s liver and spleen but it had spread throughout his whole body.

“There was nothing they could do, so we actually put him down that night,” said Gorgas.

And as a tribute to their four-legged friend, ClancysCure was founded. It works in partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to raise funds for canine cancer research.

“We needed to figure out why he was given to us and turn that into a positive,” said Davis.

All funds raised go directly to Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Gorgas hopes the money raised will bring about a day when dogs are cancer free.

“Of course, that’s a long term goal, but you have to start somewhere,” said Gorgas.

And now this cause is even more important to Gorgas and Davis- it was discovered a few weeks ago that Chase now has a tumor similar to Clancy’s.

“There’s a one third probability that it’s benign, and that’s the thought we are going on right now and that’s our hope,” said Gorgas.

But no matter what happens, these dogs will have helped lead the way to hopefully one day eliminating caine cancer.

“My philosophy in this is, you took Clancy from me, so game on. I want to have a proactive stance on this and fight it head on,” said Gorgas.

You can help fight canine cancer head on by donating at

Story reposted from:
By Taylor Knight

AU researchers see major breakthrough in canine cancer

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

There are not enough months in the year to raise awareness for the numerous types of cancers, but there is one unlikely awareness month that could be an invaluable asset for the future of cancer treatment research.

And, it might come as a surprise.

Dr. Bruce Smith of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, at Auburn UNiversity's College of Veterinary Medicine examines a dog. Smith has been part of research in canine cancer that has great promise.(Jeffrey Etheridge / Auburn University)

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. This year the month is marked by a major cancer research breakthrough in dogs could push the realm of possibility in cancer treatment for humans.

And it is all happening less than an hour’s drive down Highway 280 East, at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer.

The approach hinges on using viruses to target and kill cancers in dogs.

And it is only a fraction of the research set to begin at the AURIC, potentially with the help of dogs from local families.

Most dogs, for example, that are diagnosed with cancer at Alexander City Veterinary Clinic, according to a staff member, are sent to AU’s Teaching Hospital for its advanced facilities and treatments.

And though this method alone is not completely new and is used to a degree to treat certain cancers in humans, it is still at the forefront of current cancer treatment research.

The new approach will build upon the use of these oncolytic viruses, or viruses altered to directly infect and kill only cancer cells.

It was proposed by Andrew Hessel, a genetic researcher out of Northern California, to the director of AURIC, Bruce F. Smith V.M.D., Ph.D.

“What we’re doing is trying to build a virus that’s precisely designed for each patient. That’s a huge revolution. That is a complete revolution,” said Smith.

In short Hessel, skilled in genomics and trained in genetics, microbiology and computer programming, will digitally map the genetic makeup of the cancer that is individually specific to each dog.

The genetic information will come from the samples collected by Smith and his AURIC team.

From this information Hessel would construct a digital blueprint for an oncolytic virus specified for the cancer of each dog.

Smith said that an entire virus genome could now be synthesized from scratch.

“We’re right at the point – and I mean like days and weeks, not months or years – in the technology development that allows this to happen,” said Smith.

He said that physical trials probably would not begin for nearly a year.

However, in the meantime, he noted that if a dog were diagnosed and the cancer caught early enough, with current methods, including his implementation of generic oncolytic viruses, it might be likely that the dog could go into remission until physical trials of the new method are available.

And the reason behind the excitement behind the approach comes from what Smith called the potential “bidirectional” application of this method later in human trials.

“Dogs get many of the same cancers at much the same frequency that people do,” said Smith.

News reposted from:
By Corey Arwood / The Outlook

Get Educated On Canine Cancer "Lymphoma" In Time For National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Canine Cancer “Lymphoma” is devastating, and the information on it is varying depending on the source. Get up to speed quick on this deadly disease.

Canine Cancer Lymphoma is deadly to canines. Be prepared and know the signs and what to do if you suspect that you dog may have this disease. (Photo : Flickr Commons)

Nov. 7 has been named National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day, and it’s a day to educate and create awareness of canine lymphoma. Only when we are armed with knowledge can we make quality decisions on behalf of our best friend.

This is the first year for the National Holiday, which was submitted by Terry Simons, a well-respected and popular dog agility trainer and competitor who lost his best friend Reveille to lymphoma in 2011, according to National Day Calendar. While Simons had been lucky enough to share his life with several amazing dogs, Reveille was his “heart and soul” and he was devastated at losing his dog.

Motivated by the need to educate himself and also to limit anyone else going through the agony he did when losing Reveille, Simons has started CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research), a 501(C)3 non-profit dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of canine lymphoma through clinical research, as well as arming dog owners with the knowledge of prevention and treatment of this devastating disease, Clear Canine Cancer noted.

One of the most common neoplasms (tumors) in canines is lymphoma, or lymphosarcoma, which usually originates in the lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, according to We Are the Cure. But it can be present in any tissue in the body and accounts for 7 to 24 percent of all canine neoplasia and 83 percent of all canine hematopoietic malignancies. Lymphoma is generally seen in aging dogs from middle aged to older.

Certain breeds have a higher incidence of the breed, including Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, St. Bernards, Scottish Terriers, Airedales and Bulldogs. Spayed females have a much better prognosis than their unaltered doggy friends.

Symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to, lack of appetite, weakness, lethargy and weight loss, according to Pet MD. Know your dog and habits. Early awareness is key to treatment and healing.

Arm yourself with up-to-date information on this deadly disease to ensure your canine friend is around for a very long time.

Article reposted from:
By Tracy Hughey

November 07, 2015

Easing the pain of canine cancer patients

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Higher quality care for dogs suffering from osteosarcomas – terminal, painful and aggressive bone tumors – is on the horizon, and could lead to applications in human medicine.

Assistant Prof. Michelle Oblak, from the Department of Clinical Studies, recently discovered that the widely used method of combining radiation and bisphosphonates – a group of bone-hardening and pain relief drugs – to treat canine osteosarcomas is not as effective as previously thought.

Prof. Michelle Oblak is looking for a more effective, pain-relieving treatment for dogs who have bone cancer

That’s why she is studying the impact of different treatments on canine osteosarcoma cells to determine a more effective, pain-relieving treatment for canines suffering from the disease.

“Osteosarcoma is a devastating disease for both dogs and humans,” says Oblak. “Every bit of information we can gather to make headway toward better treatment options, understand the disease better and eventually find a cure is the ultimate goal.”

Amputation of the diseased limb – the typical course of action after an osteosarcoma diagnosis in a dog — is not always an option due to the aggressiveness of the cancer and physical limitations of a patient.

When amputation is not an option, radiation alone or radiation combined with bisphosphonates is used to treat canine osteosarcomas.

In a previous study, Oblak discovered that canine osteosarcoma patients who received a combination of bisphosphonates and radiation had worse survival times than those treated with radiation alone. This inspired her to begin an additional research project to further investigate these findings and determine more effective treatments.

To aid with her research, Oblak recruited DVSc. student Dr. Kate Hoddinott and third-year OVC student Sarah Laliberte. The group is collaborating with Dr. Tony Mutsaers, also from the Department of Clinical Studies, to investigate if varying the timing of bisphosphonate administration and using a newer generation bisphosphonate drug impacts the growth of osteosarcoma tumor cells.

Bisphosphonates are a group of drugs commonly used to alleviate pain in humans with osteoporosis and metastatic bone pain. Oblak says that this newer generation bisphosphonate appears to be highly effective, and has already displayed some anti-cancer effects in human studies.

Oblak hopes her study will have a translational component that will be beneficial across the spectrum of veterinary and human research.

“Dogs are an excellent model for humans as they live in the same environment and have very similar patterns in osteosarcoma as humans do,” says Oblak. “Dogs and humans are also the two known species most affected by this disease.”

Data collection for this project will be completed this fall. The results will determine the next steps for this research – however, Oblak hopes to implement canine clinical trials in three to five years.

Eventually, she hopes to see a similar study conducted on human osteosarcoma cell lines.

Additional collaborators for this project and members of Dr. Hoddinott’s graduate committee include Dr. Geoff Wood (Associate Professor, Department of Pathobiology) and Dr. Sarah Boston (Adjunct Professor, Department of Clinical Studies).

Funding for this research is provided by the OVC Pet Trust.

Article reposted from:

By Amy Westlund
Photo by Nick Murphy

November 7, 2015

Teaching Hospital's Oncology Service Offers New Options for Canine Cancer Treatment

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Treatment for pets with cancer has many similarities with human cancer treatment, now more so that new drug therapies are available for animal patients.

The Oncology Service in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine has expanded its treatment options to include these new drugs as well as ongoing clinical trials, all with the goal of providing animals with the best care available.

Dr. Annette Smith, the Robert and Charlotte Lowder Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the teaching hospital’s Oncology Service, says these new drugs will help diversify the treatment options available for animal patients, and potentially offer effective results when other treatments fail.

“These things are important because they give us another tool to use, a method that might work where others have failed,” said Dr. Smith, a board-certified oncology veterinary clinician. “Since a few are in funded clinical trials at this stage, they can also help keep the costs down for clients.”

Paccal Vet – CA1, or Paclitaxel, is used to treat late-stage mammary cancer in dogs. Paclitaxel has been used in the treatment of cancer in humans for more than 20 years, and is now beginning to see circulation in its veterinary form. It is the only Food and Drug Administration conditionally approved drug to treat squamous cell carcinoma and mammary carcinoma in animals.

Since Paccal Vet is still considered to be in the clinical trial stage, clients who opt to use it for their pets may qualify for free treatment. Dogs must have been untreated with any other form of cancer therapy before they qualify to use Paccal Vet.

The second drug, similar to Rituximab used in human lymphoma cases, is approved for use in T-cell lymphoma cancers in dogs, Dr. Smith said. This drug is ideally used with standard chemotherapy regimens. The drug is being offered at a discount during the period of time that further evidence of treatment effectiveness is being monitored and reported to the company.

The Oncology Service of the Bailey Teaching Hospital currently has another clinical trial for cancer treatment made available to animal owners who wish to try alternative treatments. It is for the human drug vinblastine, which is now being tested for its effectiveness in lymphoma. It has been commonly used in treatment for various cancers in dogs; however, it has not been examined as a first-line therapy for lymphoma. Clients who agree to use vinblastine to treat a pet for lymphoma will receive one free dose of chemotherapy treatment; for all future chemotherapy sessions costs will apply.

The Oncology Service works to identify new treatment options for patients. For more information about our clinical trials, click here.

Article reposted from:
By chesliepickett
Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Press Release

Learning From Dogs With Cancer

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Peter Way, an engineer in Fort Collins, Colo., was devastated when his black Labrador, Prince, developed melanoma in his mouth shortly after turning 10. “His upper palate was not looking so good, and he was getting worse,” Mr. Way said.

On the advice of a friend, he enrolled Prince in a clinical trial at Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, where researchers were testing a subcutaneous delivery method for Interleukin 12, a powerful immune enhancer that is also under study for treating advanced cancers in people.

The drug initially boosted Prince’s ability to fight off the melanoma, giving him eight months before the cancer “came roaring back” and the dog had to be put down. But Mr. Way has no regrets. The safety study will help with the design of later human trials, including the best way to administer the drug, and may lead to improved treatments for both pets and people. “That’s so important to all of us who love dogs,” Mr. Way said.

Researchers hope more pet owners like Mr. Way will follow suit. Because dogs have a short life span compared with humans, enrolling them in clinical trials could fill a research niche in developing new drugs, shaving years off testing and making the process less expensive. Indeed, interest in comparative oncology — the comparison of cancer across species — has grown sharply over the past decade.

Dogs, in particular, are a focus of research in the cancer community, after the preliminary mapping of the canine genome in 2005 and advances in veterinary medicine. Dogs that have cancer often undergo surgery, radiation and sometimes chemotherapy. A vaccine against canine melanoma is already on the market, with several other melanoma vaccines in development. And even genetic testing to customize treatments is now possible.

Scientists are learning more about tumor markers shared by dogs and humans, and inherited genes that make certain breeds more susceptible to specific cancers than others. Golden retrievers, for example, have high rates of lymphoma; Bernese mountain dogs are especially prone to an inherited form of connective tissue cancer; and osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, strikes large dogs like Irish wolfhounds and Great Danes far more frequently than other breeds. Nearly 25 percent of all dogs are expected to develop some type of cancer during their lifetime, with incidence and deaths rising rapidly with age.

“Breeds represent a closed population, offering tremendous opportunities for geneticists,” to study clues to cancer’s development and similarities with human disease, said Elaine Ostrander, chief of the cancer genetics and comparative genomics branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. “With mice, you have to induce cancer. But in some dog breeds, there’s a 22-fold higher risk for cancer. They come with a label — their breed.”

Dr. Ostrander’s lab regularly sifts through thousands of canine DNA samples, mostly from dog breeders, although some blood and saliva samples come from pet owners and the occasional stray dog. Recently, her team identified a genetic error that occurs in 85 percent of bladder tumors in dogs and plays an important role in many human cancers.

“The reason it matters is we didn’t think it was important in humans before,” Dr. Ostrander said. “We now have drugs targeting that protein, called BRAF.” In addition, because dogs shed the cancer cells into their urine, a diagnostic test is being developed that holds promise for earlier intervention for dogs and for people with bladder cancer, in the future.

In Europe, a drug first tested in pet dogs with osteosarcoma now makes up part of cancer treatment for children with those cancers. But the drug, mifamurtide, failed to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

No medicine developed first in dogs has yet crossed over for human use, according to Lisa Troutman, a veterinarian in the F.D.A.’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Until recently, she said, the only drugs available to treat cancer in companion pets came from cancer drugs approved first for human use and then used off-label in pets, although veterinarians can now draw upon three cancer drugs developed specifically for dogs. None yet exist for cats.

But Dr. Troutman and others see the pharmaceutical landscape changing, as doctors and veterinary oncologists collaborate more closely to promote human and pet health and pharmaceutical companies take note of a growing market in animal health.

“We believe in one medicine, one approach,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “It’s too easy to separate human and veterinary medicine.”

Moving the field forward, experts say, will require better biological tools for measuring canine immune responses and the development of a canine cancer genome atlas, similar to the more detailed human version that includes signaling pathways by which cancer cells communicate and mutations that drive the disease.

“We’re really 10 years behind the human field in genetics,” said Rodney Page, director of Colorado State University’s Flint Cancer Animal Center. “But with better technology and the costs coming down, we can start investigating more drugs.”

The infrastructure for carrying out animal research studies already exists in the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium, a network of 20 academic centers nationwide that is managed by the National Cancer Institute. Pet owners can go to several websites for clinical trial information, including And the American Veterinary Medical Association will soon provide a central registry online, according to Amy LeBlanc, director of N.C.I.’s comparative oncology program, that will alert consumers to where clinical trials are available.

For the most part, the costs of these studies are borne by pharmaceutical sponsors or foundations, except for routine laboratory and imaging tests before study entry, which veterinarians say usually run from $500 to $600.

As more research is done and better therapies become available, the hope is that dogs and cats will undergo less toxic and more effective treatments, moving closer to the personalized or customized cancer therapies being developed in people. At least one targeted therapy already exists for mast cell tumors, homing in on an aberrant protein implicated in the unruly growth of these common skin masses in dogs.

“Targeted therapies based on genetics is changing how we use our companion animals,” said Dr. Michael Kastan, director of the Duke Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., and a pediatric oncologist. “This is a wonderful gift for the pet community” and also may further understanding of human cancers.

Treatments, though, can be prohibitively expensive: as much as $2,000 to $4,000 for surgery, $5,000 or more for chemotherapy and $6,000 for radiation therapy. Only about 3 percent of pet owners carry health insurance for their pets, researchers say. While some pet insurers may require a special rider for cancer coverage, most help with some of these costs, said Dr. Page of Colorado State University. “My experience with insurers has been very positive,” he said.

Still, other obstacles remain. Even though many canine cancers resemble those seen in people, dogs rarely develop prostate or colon cancers, limiting their usefulness as models for some forms of the disease. And, of course, what’s true for dogs, as with other animals, may not be true for people. Finally, future studies will need to disentangle genetic risks for cancer from those in the environment, a challenge in many human cancers as well.

“Dogs tumors have a lot of similarities to our own,” Dr. Kastan said, “but dogs don’t smoke, for example. They live in our environment, but they don’t have our bad habits.”

Article reposted from:
By Susan Jenks

Indiana couple makes emotional video of dog's final days on earth

Monday, September 28th, 2015

You may remember Sheridan – an Indiana dog who received national attention over the last year!

In July 2013, Sheridan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an extremely aggressive bone tumor. In order to slow down the spreading of the cancer and reduce his pain, Sheridan’s right forelimb was amputated.

His owners, veterinary students Morgan and Zach, created an emotional video following the life of Sheridan before and after his amputation. Even while enduring chemotherapy for six months, Sheridan continued to act like his energetic self, rolling around in the sand, jumping into pools and chasing tennis balls.

The video went viral, and Morgan and Zach used this opportunity as a platform to talk about Bone Cancer Dogs, a non-profit organization that works to exclusively to fund research for canine bone cancer.

Sadly, Sheridan passed away on Thursday, September 17.

Sheridan lived to be 8-years old, and amputation and chemotherapy extended his life for 14 months after diagnosis.

Morgan and Zach say they miss him dearly and hope his story continues to inspire others.

After 14 months of chemotherapy and an amputation, Sheridan the dog passed away from bone cancer.

His owners created a tear-jerking video of his final days.

Two Indiana veterinarian students created a very emotional video of their dog’s final days on earth and his fight against bone cancer.

Story reposted from:
By Kylee Wierks

A Yale scientist hopes his cancer vaccine research could help pets and, eventually, their owners

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Dr. Mark Mamula has been working on the vaccine in his Yale lab for roughly 10 years. Now he’s testing it to find out whether it works in man’s best friend.

“They get two vaccinations and are followed over the course of their disease, including MRI and CAT scans, ultrasound. Some animals still receive chemotherapy,” Dr. Mamula explained. “I’d also like to emphasize this is not conventional chemotherapy. These do not have the side effects that most people realize that chemo has on humans as well as dogs.”

While just six months into the trial, researchers have reason to be optimistic.

“We’re seeing in many of these aggressive forms of cancer that they’re not getting worse, they’re not increasing in size,” he revealed/ “Of course, many humans with cancers know that if you can maintain the level of tumor size or reduce them, those are all good things for patients, human patients — same thing in dogs.”

Which makes the combination of man and man’s best friend all the more important.

“The reason that this trial is very important to our proposed human trials is that canine cancers look, for all the world, very similar to human cancers,” said Dr. Mamula. “They progress and are aggressive much in identical ways that human cancers are.”

If all goes as planned, Dr. Mamula hopes human clinical trials can begin in the next year and a half.

News reposted from:
By KING 5 HealthLink Staff

Solo swimmer Deborah makes a splash for canine partners

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Committed fundraiser Deborah Herridge made a splash on Sunday by swimming 14 miles across the Solent and back again to raise £1,000 for assistance dog charity Canine Partners and Cancer Research UK.

Determined Deborah swam for 7 hours, 18 minutes and 47 seconds in an average temperature of 16.5C from Hill Head Sailing Club in Fareham to Ryde and then back to Hill Head on Sunday 6th September.

She followed Channel Swimming Association Rules and wore only a swimming costume, hat and goggles which offered no thermal protection or buoyancy while completing the feat, which she named Quantum of Solent 2 – Return of the Tide. This is an inaugural swim and she hopes it will be ratified by the British Long Distance Swimming Association as a first.

Last year Deborah completed a one-way 7.5 mile sea swim but in a bid to test herself further she doubled the distance by tumble turning at Ryde and swimming back to Hill Head again.

Deborah chose to support Canine Partners, which is celebrating its 25thanniversary year, as she has previously been a volunteer puppy parent for the Charity.

Deborah, 46, of Lee-on-the-Solent, said:

“I support Canine Partners because I see how it can change people’s lives for the better. I swim to help others, and when it gets painful, which it did, I think of people who are worse off than myself and it gives me the courage to go on knowing that what I am doing may go to help them in some way.

“I nearly gave up several times when the waves were so big I couldn’t see any land, only my safety boat.”

Canine Partners, which receives no government funding and relies solely on donations, is dedicated to transforming the lives of people with physical disabilities by training dogs to help with everyday tasks they would otherwise find difficult, painful or impossible, including opening doors, undressing, pressing buttons, and fetching help in an emergency.

If you would like to support Deborah’s challenge and donate to Canine Partners and Cancer Research UK please visit

Deborah has also supported the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation and raised nearly £1,000:

News reposted from:
By Island Echo