My Beloved Hank
Hank was diagnosed on February 1, 2013, with an intrapelvic soft tissue sarcoma. Hank underwent 19 radiation treatments before we finally found a team of doctors at OSU who were able to remove the grapefruit-size tumor on July 17, 2013. After oral chemo for 9 months, Hank's sarcoma returned. Then Hank had to undergo another surgery and strong dose of chemo. Two months after surgery, I took Hank back for his check-up and was devastated when they said it was back again.
I begged Dr. London at OSU for a new idea to help Hank. She referred me to the best doctor in the U.S., Dr. Bernard Seguin at Colorado State University. After a 20-hour drive to Colorado, Hank underwent an eight-hour-long surgery in which Dr. Seguin performed a limb-sparing hemipelvectomy. After the surgery, Hank had nerve damage, but Dr. Sasha Foster and Laura Southworth were able to get Hank to walk again after about three weeks of physical therapy. Thanks to Dr. Seguin I was able to love my boy for four more months before Hank's cancer spread and took him from me. I will never be able to thank him for this gift he gave to me.
The Beginning of the Hank Kabel Sarcoma Foundation
In May of 2015 I was having a yard sale to raise money for sarcoma research in honor of Hank. That is where I was lucky enough to meet Lisa Shook and Theresa Anders. I told them how I lost Hank to cancer and we cried together. They told me they wanted to help me honor Hank and the dogs they had lost to cancer by raising money for dog cancer and sarcoma research.
I had been wanting to have a walk to raise money for dog cancer ever since Hank was diagnosed in 2013. Lisa and Theresa helped me organize and set up the first race in 2015 and we were able to collect $200.
While at the walk I was lucky enough to meet Lisa's husband, Mike, who I wrangled into being a part of the foundation. When I told Mike how I wanted to do a calendar for Hank to raise money and awareness for dog cancer and sarcoma, Mike used his business background to encourage me to get businesses to sponsor ads and to establish a 501(c)3 to provide businesses with a tax write-off for their contribution. That's how the Hank Kabel Sarcoma Foundation began.