Cancer Survivor Helps Her Cat Fight the Disease

Michele Helps Sammi Battle Cancer, After Overcoming Cancer Herself

Michele + Sammi

“Sammi is a quirky cat,” said Michele. “She rarely walks, she always has her tail up and zips around the house. She just makes me laugh.” Michele and her husband, Michael adopted Sammi in 2016 after her previous owner passed away.

"“We welled up and were so touched that this opportunity came to us and Sammi,” said Michele. "

Michele thought something might be wrong when Sammi began vomiting often. She hadn’t shown any other signs or symptoms and wasn’t losing weight, but Michele took her to the University of Pennsylvania for a checkup. Before the diagnoses, Michele thought she had made up her mind that if Sammi was diagnosed with cancer, she did not want to put her through chemo.

When Sammi’s tests found a cancerous mass, Michele was heartbroken. Michele is a breast cancer survivor and had endured the side effects of treatment. She did not want treatment to cause Sammi pain or diminish her quality of life. However, the veterinarians at UPenn explained that many cancer treatments do not cause the same side effects in animals as they do in humans. The team agreed that Sammi’s quality of life was at the forefront of their care plan.

Michele also learned that she qualified for the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation Cancer Treatment Fund, which covers the cost of treatment so that families can focus on providing care for their pet rather than the financial burden.

“We welled up and were so touched that this opportunity came to us and Sammi,” said Michele.

Treatment isn’t always easy for Michele, “when I’m successful in administering medication it’s very rewarding, it’s like ‘I’ve got this.’ But it can be very discouraging when I’m unsuccessful,” she said.  Despite the challenges, since beginning treatment, Sammi’s mass has shrunk to half its size and Sammi has had no side effects. “Sammi is a lovebug,” said Michele “she makes me laugh, she makes me smile.”

Story Update: We are saddened to announce that Sammi has passed away since this story was published.

Join The Fight

Together with Blue Buffalo, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $13 million in pet cancer research and treatment. If your pet has been diagnosed with pet cancer and you need assistance with the cost of care, please see our Pet Cancer Resource Guide for a list of organizations that may be able to provide assistance.

Join the fight against pet cancer. Make a donation today.