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Morris Animal Foundation

Knoxville Resident on a Mission to Fight Canine Cancer

By Allison Tonini, Morris Animal Foundation

Laurie Macnair is undoubtedly a dog person. As vice president of Radio Systems Corporation, a privately owned company that develops pet management technology, Macnair works to ensure pet safety. In her Knoxville home, Macnair and her husband, Mal, currently parent four purebred greyhounds, Twix, Molly, Roxy and Evie.

Their dogs have brought them companionship and joy as well as challenges and a touch of sadness. Take six-year-old Evie, for instance. In the middle of her gray facial markings, a small pink scar now sits where an eye used to be.

“She doesn’t even know she’s missing an eye,” jokes Macnair, “so don’t tell her!”

Four years ago this October, then two-year-old Evie was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the salivary gland behind her left eye. Veterinarians at the University of Tennessee formulated an aggressive combination of surgery and radiation for Evie, based on conclusions that they had reached from a canine cancer study funded by Morris Animal Foundation. Miraculously, the treatment was successful, and Evie now lives cancer free with her greyhound siblings.

Sadly, two of Macnair’s previous greyhounds were not as lucky. In the summer of 2010, Penny and Scooby lost their lives to cancer within four months of each other. The grim reality is that one in four dogs will die of cancer and half will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point.

After watching two of her dogs lose battles to cancer and one benefit from a Foundation-funded study, Macnair wanted to help Morris Animal Foundation cure canine cancer, and she made that commitment on both a professional and a personal level. PetSafe, a division of Radio Systems Corporation, is one of several companies sponsoring Knoxville’s first-ever Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walk. Macnair will also be volunteering to help at the event with other PetSafe employees. Other sponsors for this year’s walk include Orvis Company, Petplan, Paul Mitchell Schools and John Paul Pet.

Join Laurie Macnair and other dog lovers on Sunday, September 18, at the Cove at Concord Park to walk for a cure. To find out more about the walk, please visit www.K9CancerWalk.org.

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