Finding good vets is fairly easy nowadays, finding great vets may be a bit more complicated, but still is feasible. But then enters the scene a vet like Steve Tasker. A vet you'll get to know once
in your lifetime, if you're lucky.
Jayne was lucky. Lucky to live in the right area at the right time. I'll just quote her:
There are good vets out there, great vets out there too but once in a lifetime we come across a vet that is like no other. Who took on Cancer full on with my dogs not once but 3 times! And they all made it:
Steve Tasker is in a league of his own & so are the fantastic vets that surround him in the state of the art practice known as Watkins & Tasker.
No way in the world will I ever be able to thank him for not only what he has done for my dogs but for all he taught me & helped me through the worst time in my life. A life long friend, the best vet on the planet & I don't know what I would do without this practice.
HAPPY 50TH Steve & THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. YOU ARE AMAZING & WE LOVE YOU TO BITS.
All of Zoe's Journey UK team wish him all the best.
Fighting Canine Cancer…
Being a first-time owner, I sure did a lot of homework before deciding on whether to share my life with a dog or not. I talked to owners, read loads of books covering almost any aspect of a dog’s life. I soon learned that some breeds are more prone to health issues than others, e.g. skin problems, joints, breathing issues, epilepsy, name it. However, in almost every book I read, cancer, always has been mentioned in a side note, if at all. Admittedly, it’s nothing you’d really want to read about when deciding to change your life and let a pup enter the scene…
So, back in July 2012, I picked up my boy. We gradually extended our walking radius, making friends (and sometimes enemies) with other dogs and their owners. Walking along together, exchanging educational tips and letting elderly dogs teach my little rascal manners, I soon learned to not only watch out for other dogs’ behaviour but also their owners’ (and, of course, correctly read the signals sent out by people afraid of dogs).
It didn’t take too long until we met the first dogs fighting cancer, though. Most of them were quite old (13 to 16, 17 years), so I said to myself: “okay, this may affect my boy in 10 or more years; maybe.” I guess that one of the turning points changing my mind was when one of his friends didn’t show up any more. A black Flat Coat girl, 6 or 7 years young, ball and Frisbee addict. A fortnight later, another dog living in the same house was diagnosed with cancer and passed away a week later. She was 4. That’s when I reluctantly realised that cancer won’t care about age and breed.
Since he is intact, we sure had a couple of difficult times by then. But: it was quite intriguing to see him go nuts when he met a couple of his girlfriends, which had been castrated. It turned out that they either had mammary or ovarian cancer or pyometra. Most of them were younger than my boy. It was quite difficult to persuade their owners to get their dogs checked (and possibly also the vets to look for cancerous masses and doing biopsies and having these assessed), but he saved a couple of lives so far.
That’s around the time Jayne May invited me to join Zoe’s Journey UK on Facebook, the accompanying auction group pointing to freshly installed Zoe’s Journey UK fund-raising page on JustGiving.
Her reason? Her own Golden Retriever Zoe was diagnosed with stage 3 Lymphoma in 2013. Zoe’s chances without treatment were small. But because Jayne had Zoe diagnosed quickly, that in itself gave her a chance with Chemotherapy. But the shock of being told your dog has cancer, he/she will die without treatment, it takes you back & one wonders what has hit us. Zoe commenced chemo & aged 13 walked away cured of cancer. Zoe lived her life out in length & quality & passed away from just old age in 2016. But how many don’t? How many lives torn apart when your vet asks you to sit down & then delivers the news your soul mate, your long loving companion has cancer. The idea to bring people together was born, along with the aim to help research into canine cancer. The aim? Contact the Animal Health Trust which at the time was the only dedicated Canine Cancer Research unit in the UK & ask if we could raise some funds to help them. Jayne was asked if she had a target? She was to say the least “put on the spot” A figure of £5,000 in one year came to mind, & the journey began.
In January 2015 a JustGiving site was created & this phenomenal story started right there. Back in 2015, Zoe’s Journey UK started with a rather low, nevertheless quite challenging target: But in a matter of weeks that target was smashed.
Back in February 2017, a determined bunch of people smashed through the £100,000 barrier, which is quite amazing by itself. However, as of August 2018, we have surpassed the £130,000, and furthermore, as of writing, more than 6000 people have registered with Zoe’s Journey UK on JustGiving and donated. Hence, our next target is set: £150,000 by Christmas 2019.
In the meantime, Yates lost quite a few of his friends. Age certainly asked for its tribute, hard enough to cope with, but we all knew and know that dogs have a very limited time to share their life with us. However, most of his friends crossed the bridge way too early. Due to cancer. – Never ever would I have conceived that cancer would strike any breed and cross-breed alike, ignoring the age and time they’ve spent on this planet. I don’t know how long my boy’s time is. But I cherish every single day and every walk, every hour and minute, thinking of those who crossed the bridge way too early. It may come as a shock, but the true statistics are. One in 3 dogs will at some time in their life will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Furthermore 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will at some time be diagnosed with cancer. There are over 300 different types of canine cancer. Something just had to be done.
Fighting cancer is like running a marathon. At times, you just want to give up. Every single muscle hurts and tells you: “please, no more”. But: you wouldn’t, would you? – As won’t Jayne and the members of ZoesJourneyUK, neither will me and my boy give up. I do feel privileged to be part of these supporting and fund-raising groups and wished I’d never had to read any posts of dogs killed by cancer. Sure, it’s a dream. But: dreams are the root to change the world.
My dream is to never have to cope with news like “today, I had to say goodbye to my pup because of cancer”. My dream is to see any dog spread the joy they have to share until they fall asleep because of their age. My dream is to be able to say: “we did it.”
Albeit humbly, I do take a bit of pride to be part of Zoe’s Journey, watching it grow and witnessing it does make a difference.
Marc & Yates, 26 August 2018
ZOE CERTAINLY BROUGHT IT HOME £100K
On February 20th 2017 at 22:53 Zoes Journey UK smashed through £100,000.00 for the Animal Health Trust to research cancer in dogs, what's more it took only 2 years to do it. Zoe started her chemo in August 2013 immediately on diagnosis of LYMPHOMA by vet Steve Tasker. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to fight it and I had the vet to do it. I didn't know what was going to happen though, It's Cancer, but I had the best on her case. At the time I had 6 dogs and 50% of them had a form of cancer. Hope and Whitnie were babies, just 2 and they were fighting the battle of their lives against HISTIOCYTOSIS. I could have lost 3 of the 6 dogs I had to cancer. I vowed then that I never wanted anyone to feel as alone as I did. I got support from Steve and he became my rock as he saved Zoe's life but not only hers, Hope and Whitnie's too. Zoe was discharged December 2014. We were free to move on. But I couldn't. The memory, fear, hopes, tears stayed with me. How many more out there? I got a mention on Facebook from Maria Magnussen one day, she said she wanted Hooligan to "do a Zoe" he had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. I rang Maria and we spoke, Hoolie was on a chemo drip and was to come home the next day. Maria was on her way to get him, and...Hoolie died.
That night in January was the night that Zoes Journey UK fund was set up via Just Giving. Not for Zoe, or any of my dogs, they had made it, but for all the dogs that are going through and will be diagnosed in the future with cancer. What chance do they have if we don't help them. The next day I asked Steve, who has a dedicated Canine Cancer research unit? The AHT have he said. So I phoned them and spoke to the fundraising department. Marilyn Dickens and I saw we already had a donation in Just Giving so we were off the mark so to speak. I was asked "did I have a target?" A bit taken aback I stumbled I said how about £5,000 in one year? They were amazed and said they would send me a fundraiser pack. I was dreading telling Marilyn as we only had a few hundred pounds. She rang and said "well?" I said £5,000 in one year. "WHAT? How are we going do that?" (she nags me!) Which brings me to now.
A group of people came together with a vision, something in common, the love of their dogs. We came together as friends, some lost their dogs, some lost family members, so many things have happened in this "family" of people over the last 2 years and finally look what happened. But it didn't happen on it's own, it happened because you never gave up believing. You never gave up hope that is now what these dogs have and it's down to you. Thousands of dogs will now have a chance thanks to Zoes Journey UK. So I salute everyone of you who have supported this fund. You have swum, run marathons, cycled hundreds of miles, shaved your head, jumped out of planes, done some of the most crazy things all for the love for your dogs. My thanks to each and every one of you. I would also like to thank all of the companies who have supported us by donating or supplying goods as this has helped us so much. Also it doesn't go without saying, I had the best admin team behind me all the way.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my vet in a million of which without his treatment and saving Zoe none of this would have happened, WATKINS & TASKER Vet Group. THANK YOU
One Dog, One Woman, One Vet, One Vision, One Amazing Team
THANK YOU TEAM ZOE
ZoesJourneyUK raising funds for AHT researching Canine Cancer
'MAKING A DIFFERENCE'
We are trurly the most fortunate of all animal charities to be the beneficary of everthing you, Zoe and your wonderful team have been through, achieved and stand for. It's a cliche used much too often, 'making a difference', but in the case of ZJUK there couldn't be a truer or better statement to acknowledge the incredible difference ZJUK is making for dogs affected by cancer. They don't know how to say thank you but we do...
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO TEAM ZOE!
Andrew and all at the AHT
Head of Individual Giving & Trusts
WE'VE HAD SOME PRETTY BIG NEWS TODAY
Zoes Journey UK fundrasing campaign has hit their target of raising £100,000 to help us research cancer in dogs! This is INCREDIBLE news and will make a HUGE difference in our work.
Read the full story here: Golden Retriever Inspires £100,000 Donation to help fight canine cancer
JUST £8,000 TO GO AS ZOE BREAKS THROUGH THE £92,000 BARRIER...
Exciting news for Team Zoe as we get nearer to Zoe bringing home 100k.
Please visit our auction page on Facebook 'Zoe Journey UK Auction' to view all the wonderful items that are up for auction to raise funds for canine cancer research at the AHT.
HUGE THANKS TO MARK LABBETT
On behalf of the whole of the Animal Health Trust, the Oncology Unit, the whole of Zoe Journey UK and millions of dogs all over the world, how can we ever thank you for achieving what you just have. Cancer Research in Dogs now takes on a new lease of life thanks to you and the Zoe Journey UK group. Mark, you are a Champion, you are a gentleman, a family man and a great dedicated Daddy to your own golden retriever Baloo. Thank you my friend, from the bottom of our hearts.
ZOE BRINGS IT HOME £100,000 for the AHT
On 23rd August 2016, the campaign was launched at Watkins and Tasker Veterinary Practice in Portishead near Bristol to bring home 100k for the AHT. In the weeks leading up to this "The Chase" was on to reach 68k before Mark Labbett officially launched the campaign. We are happy to announce with overwhelming support we have successfully raised 68k and are now focusing on raising 100k to present at AHT in Newmarket on 19th June 2017, a very special day on what would have been Zoe's 16th birthday. It is also a very important year for the AHT as they will be celebrating their 75th anniversary.
ZJUK would like to extend their appreciation and sincere thanks to Mark and his wife Katie, for lending their time to our cause. Mark said, “I’ve had my Golden Retriever, Baloo, now for the best part of a year and it changes your life. It's really inspiring what Jayne and this team of people have been able to achieve and I’m happy to be here to help, in any way that I can, something that could potentially help improve the quality of life for Baloo as well as other dogs, and their families.”
£75,000 is not too far away. Please help us reach it.
This money has gone to the AHT to help research cancer in dogs
We have a journey ahead.
Please Join Us and Together We Can Get There.
When Zoe was diagnosed with Lymphoma by Steve Tasker of Watkins & Tasker Vet Group back in Aug 2013, I like any other owner broke down. My dog was going to die. But I like so many others have 1000% faith & trust in all the Vets in this incredible practice. The option? Chemotherapy. Or she will die. The story? Thanks to Steve & the team, Zoe made it, after a long course of Chemotherapy. Zoe's quality of life was always the first priority throughout. In fact this picture was taken in the middle of the time with Chemotherapy. See for yourself how she did.
But life may not have changed for Zoe regarding the quality of. It changed for me. My eyes opened to so many dogs who don't make it. So many who do not have the benefit of the care & knowledge Zoe had from this incredible practice on Cancer & the treatment available. Zoe's Journey through Cancer has now changed thousands of dog’s lives for the better. Jan 2015 came. Steve said the Chemo had come to an end......Zoe was free to go. I decided I wanted to help other dogs & owners who were going through the same. I wasn't the only one by far. I rang the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and said I wanted to be a fundraiser to help them with Cancer Research in Dogs. Our target? £5,000 in 1 year!
Zoe's Journey UK was born on the 27th Jan 2015. A dedicated team of people came together with one mission in mind. To help the AHT help dogs with Cancer. Today that target seems a million miles away for all the right reasons. Zoe's Journey UK now stands at just over £900 short of £50,000.00 for the AHT to research Cancer in Dogs. A team really did come together here, a team I am so proud of. To date:- Zoe remains in good health & almost 3 years on is clear of Cancer. All because of this practice & the care she received. Despite this, they don't all make it, that's why we have to continue to raise awareness. Please if you see ANYTHING WRONG no matter how small. Get in touch. 25% of dogs will get Cancer sometime in their life. Please ring and get it checked out. Early diagnosis plays such a great part in treatment. Zoe made it, thanks to Steve & his team, please let there be more like her to follow. The fight continues. Our thanks will always be to Steve, Liz & the team for handing back Zoe's life to her. She will be 15yrs old in June. If you want to help us help the AHT please get in touch.
Every Penny donated goes to the Animal Health Trust to pay for Canine Cancer Research.
* Amount quoted includes £8427.21 in Gift Aid (correct at 05 July 2016).
But it breaks my bloody heart to see this. Yes thanks to Zoe we have this cause, but she is fine, it's about the others now.
Please, Each one of you please visit us on Facebook and join our group. If you have already joined us, try and get just 2 people each to (not just join) but to help out. No matter how small. You don't even have to do it for us. Do it for Toffee, for the ones we have lost, and the ones in the future who will suffer because of these cancers. We need to grow now, we are strong & well known, let's make happen. Just find 1 or 2 new people each to help. After-all, Cancer fears no-one, but let's turn that around so we don't need to fear Cancer. Thank you. Jayne xx
Our Just Giving Page
Animal Health Trust (Charity Registration No. 209642)
Zoe's Journey UK Online Auction
Zoe's Journey UK News & Events
Zoe's Journey UK Community Page
Zoe's Journey Twitter Handle - https://www.twitter.com/ZoesJourneyUK
How Can You Help?
You can help with Zoe’s Journey UK by donating to the fundraising effort. Just text “ZJUK47 £Amount” to 70070, or visit the “Just Giving” page.
There is also an auction site on Facebook where you can purchase numerous items which have been kindly donated by friends of the charity with every penny raised being spent on Canine Cancer Research.
Please visit our Events Pages to see what others have been up to help our cause.
Charity Registration No. 209642
Zoe’s Journey has been set up to raise funds for the Animal Health Trust charity. All funds raised through Zoe’s Journey UK will be used by the Animal Health Trust to further research into canine cancer research. Your kind support in this is greatly appreciated.
Jayne May (Founder of Zoe's Journey UK)