Austen Estey believes you're never too young to help man's best friend. That's why the three-year-old Leslieville boy will be collecting change all summer long to support the Walk to End Canine Cancer. Austen is calling on kids across the city to gather their pennies, nickels and dimes and join him at the second annual event on Sept. 28 at Kew Beach in Toronto.
Austen has good reason to support the Walk to End Canine Cancer. In January, Austen's best pal, Sydney, a a six-year-old Shepherd/Pointer/Hound mix, was diagnosed with a rare soft-tissue sarcoma. Sydney was referred to the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer -- part of the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph -- where she had access to top-notch oncologists and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat her illness. In April, an Ottawa oncologist successfully removed Sydney's tumour. Now Austen can enjoy many more years of companionship with his irreplaceable canine.
Unfortunately, not all dogs and dog owners are so lucky. One in three families faced with a diagnosis of canine cancer must make the heart-wrenching decision to euthanize their pets.
Austen and the Estey family owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Ontario Veterinary College for saving Sydney's life. That's why they'll be supporting The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund OVC Pet Trust with their spare change at the Walk to End Canine Cancer.
Last year's inaugural walk -- an event co-founded by two Toronto dog walkers in memory of the amazing canines they've worked with over the years -- raised more than $35,000.
For more information on the Walk to End Canine Cancer and how your kids can get involved by collecting change all summer visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/endcaninecancer or visit smilingblueskies.com.