The Rey Family.
Sonia Rey and her husband, Antonio, and their children, Johnson and Joanna, welcomed their Golden Retriever, Meego, into their lives as a puppy.
“Meego is a member of our family,” Sonia says, explaining how their loving Golden Retriever was named after the Spanish word for “friend” – amigo.
In 2018, 10-year-old Meego was referred to the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) by his family veterinarian in Newmarket after a series of frightening seizures and tests revealed elevated liver enzymes. Upon arrival at OVC, tests confirmed Meego’s diagnosis: he had a hepatocellular adenoma, a tumour in his liver. The good news, is that the tumour was operable, Sonia remembers.
“What a relief when we learned that OVC would be able to perform surgery and help our dog,” Sonia says, understandably emotional.
Unfortunately, at the same time, the veterinary team also discovered a meningioma, or a brain tumour, in Meego. He underwent a vigorous radiation therapy protocol to treat the brain tumour first. After two months, surgery was performed on the dog to remove his liver tumour at the OVC Companion Animal Hospital. Fortunately, Meego recovered and was able to return home to his family.
Meego is now battling cancer for the third time: he was diagnosed with lymphoma in August and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at OVC. Canine lymphoma is similar to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people; it is a group of cancers that originate in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the fight infection in the body.
“We couldn’t give up on him,” Sonia says. “Our dog is a fighter.” Through his treatments and battles with cancer, Meego has maintained a good quality of life and the Rey family is very grateful to his veterinary care team and trust he is in good hands every time they walk through the doors of OVC.
This fall, the Rey family shared their story with thousands of University of Guelph supporters through OVC Pet Trust’s annual fundraising campaign appeal.
“The Ontario Veterinary College is equipped with the tools, resources and expertise to save pet lives every day and keep families together, for longer. To simply say ‘thank you’ is not enough,” Sonia says, through tears of joy.
In 2012, OVC opened the first comprehensive animal cancer centre in Canada – the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer – through donations to OVC Pet Trust of more than $13 million to create, staff and equip the centre. The facility provides access to the most innovative and advanced oncology treatments and therapies in the country, including chemotherapy, a linear accelerator to administer radiation therapy and access to various clinical trials. The centre also includes a tumour tissue bank for storing biopsies for future investigations; examination, treatment and procedure rooms; a comfort room; and family visiting areas.
“On behalf of all the beloved pets who have received care in OVC’s world class hospital thanks to OVC Pet Trust supporters: I say thank you,” Sonia says. “Please know how deeply grateful we are for your continued generosity. Your donations gave us the best gift of all: more time with our Meego.”
This Giving Tuesday, make a gift to OVC Pet Trust to help more pets like Meego.