Susie Coit first connected with the Flint Animal Cancer Center when her 12-year-old westie Sullivan was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2013.

“My father instilled my lifelong love of animals,” said Coit. “When Sullivan was diagnosed, I committed to offering him the best possible care.”

Almost immediately, Susie felt connected to FACC’s oncology team. “Even just sitting in the waiting area for Sullivan’s appointment, I felt part of a caring and compassionate community.” White dog

During that difficult time, Dr. Kristen Weishaar, a medical oncology resident, made a particular impression on Susie.

“I was so scared for Sullivan, and Dr. Weishaar put my mind at ease,” said Coit. “She was so sweet with him and took the time to answer my questions and carefully explained things so that I could understand them. She discussed the different treatment options, and then together we decided what course of action to take.”

After Sullivan passed in June 2013, Susie began giving to the FACC. Then, in 2015, she decided to further commit her support with a planned gift to the One Cure clinical trials program. She liked the idea of supporting research that might benefit pets and people. Her pledge was one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock, a gift from her father several decades earlier.

Personal experience

In 2019, the unthinkable happened – Susie was diagnosed with lymphoma. She couldn’t believe she was facing the same cancer diagnosis as her cherished Sullivan.

On advice from a physician friend, Susie contacted MD Anderson to enroll in a clinical trial. Through her treatment, her connection to clinical trials became personal. Not content to be just a patient, she eagerly shared her experience and educated others on the value of clinical trials.

Susie achieved clinical remission in June 2020.

Full circle

Though Susie’s planned gift had been designated to One Cure for several years, she had never attended a One Cure celebration. After her diagnosis and remission, she was excited to connect. Unfortunately, due to COVID and her compromised immune system, she couldn’t attend the 10-year celebration.

To include Susie in the special day, the FACC staff shared a recording of the evening’s program. Susie watched and was overwhelmed with emotion. The One Cure success stories touched her heart, and seeing Dr. Weishaar again, this time in her role as One cure clinical trials director, inspired Susie to change her plans.

“I decided I wanted to see the work and get the joy out of it. I knew my dad would approve.”

Within a few weeks, Susie transferred that single share of stock, which had grown to nearly $450,000 in value. She was overwhelmed to learn that her gift would cover one year of operational support for the One Cure program. “I know that breakthroughs are happening all the time, and sometimes the next great idea just needs a little more funding, a little more support to have an impact,” said Coit.

As proof, she mentioned that in the two years since she was diagnosed with lymphoma, the FDA had approved a new drug that could be used should her cancer return.

“It’s remarkable the progress that is being made. I can’t wait to see what One Cure does next!”

Gifts to One Cure support our clinical trials program, which works to discover better treatments for pets and people with cancer. Please consider donating today.