Recently, Michelle Goldthwaite, through her sister’s Deirdre Dickinson Memorial Fund, donated $10,000 to Liam’s Fund at Phinney's, which she helped create and capitalize. Since its inception in 2016, Liam's Fund has helped seven amazing dogs with diabetes — Demetrius, Emperor Ojii, Jackson, Lilly, Haze, Baby, and Rocky.
“It’s important for me and my children to keep this fund going in honor and memory of my sister,” Michelle said. “When my son was just 8 years old, he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. It changed our lives, and one day while waiting to see his doctor at Children’s Hospital, I saw something online about a diabetic dog who needed a foster,” she explained. “That got me thinking how hard it must be for people to pay for the care their diabetic dogs need.”
Shortly after this, Michelle approached Phinney's president, Daniela Caride. Michelle was moved by Phinney’s mission of helping people so they don’t have to surrender or euthanize their pets because they can’t afford their care.
“I used to do rescue work in California and saw so many diabetic dogs surrendered. I also fostered a diabetic dog,” said Michelle, a doting dog mom to four Yorkies — Brooklyn, Lily, Teddy, and Lucy. “It’s heartbreaking to think someone would have to give up their dog just because of a sudden and random diabetes diagnosis,” she added. “Knowing how much my sister loved animals and her nephew Liam, it just made sense to establish this fund."
Michelle’s contribution is a godsend because it means Phinney’s can continue to provide diabetic dogs like Rocky, a Mini Pinscher, with the essential help they need to live their best lives. Recently, Rocky, who has benefited from Liam’s Fund for five years and counting, developed kidney issues as a result of his diabetes. With Michelle’s contribution, we’re confident we’ll be able to provide his pet parent, Linda, with the help she needs for his continued medical tests, medications, and other treatments.
Dogs like Rocky would have no chance of survival if it weren’t for the dedication of their pet parents, their vets, and people like Michelle who generously give. And, through Michelle’s support, Liam’s Fund proved to be a literal lifeline for Demetrius, Emperor Ojii, Jackson, Lilly, Haze, and Baby, who, on average, lived a whole year longer because of this support.
“I think my sister would be very happy,” Michelle said, reflecting on the positive outcomes the Liam’s Fund dogs have experienced.
A Closer Look
Managing the health of diabetic dogs is labor intensive and expensive. If untreated, diabetic dogs can experience serious and life-threatening conditions including cataracts, which can cause blindness, enlarged liver, urinary tract infections, seizures, kidney failure, and an acute condition called ketoacidosis. That’s why contributions like the one Michelle just made are so important to our ability to help these dogs and their people. To learn more about some of the general costs pet parents of diabetic dogs are likely face, visit phinneys.org/blog/diabetic-dogs-need-continuous-treatments. And, to donate to Liam's Fund, please visit phinneys.org/donate where you can include a note letting us know you would like your contribution applied to this fund.