Cancer-fighting pooch Zoe's legacy lives on through big donation to Animal Health Trust

PUBLISHED: 17:27 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:27 28 April 2016

Cheque presentation for £58,000 to the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, (l-r) Andrew Simmonds, Head of Individual Giving at the AHT, front, Dr Sue Murphy, AHT Head of Clinics, Dr Mark Starkey, Head of Molecular Oncology Research, Jayne May, Founder of Zoe’s Journey UK, with her dog Whitnie, back, Dr Mark Vaudin, AHT CEO, front, Steve Tasker and Liz Watkins of Watkins and Tasker Veterinary Practice, who treated Zoe, celebrity guests: Mark Labbett and Katie Labbett, with their dog Baloo.

Cheque presentation for £58,000 to the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, (l-r) Andrew Simmonds, Head of Individual Giving at the AHT, front, Dr Sue Murphy, AHT Head of Clinics, Dr Mark Starkey, Head of Molecular Oncology Research, Jayne May, Founder of Zoe's Journey UK, with her dog Whitnie, back, Dr Mark Vaudin, AHT CEO, front, Steve Tasker and Liz Watkins of Watkins and Tasker Veterinary Practice, who treated Zoe, celebrity guests: Mark Labbett and Katie Labbett, with their dog Baloo.

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The Animal Health Trust has received a boost of £58,000 raised by a local dog lover who wants to help prevent our four-legged friends from suffering with cancer.

Cheque presentation for £58,000 to the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, (l-r) Katie Labbett, Mark Labbett, Jayne May, with Zoe cakeCheque presentation for £58,000 to the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, (l-r) Katie Labbett, Mark Labbett, Jayne May, with Zoe cake

Newmarket resident Jayne May kick-started fundraising by creating ‘Zoe’s Journey UK’ in January 2015 after her 13-year-old Golden Retriever, Zoe, was given the all clear from lymphoma – cancer of the skin.

Unfortunately, since then Zoe has passed away from old age, but Ms May has ensured that Zoe’s legacy will live on by raising £58,000 for the animal health charity.

The funds were presented to the charity by celebrity guest and start of ITV’s The Chase, Mark Labett on Monday at a special celebratory event in Newmarket.

The money raised will help fund research into lymphoma at the Animal Health Trust, which is the only UK charity with a dedicated canine cancer research team.

The inspiration behind charity 'Zoe's Journey UK,' Golden Retriever Zoe.The inspiration behind charity 'Zoe's Journey UK,' Golden Retriever Zoe.

Jayne May said: “Initially, I set out to raise £5,000 for the Animal Health Trust. I never could have dreamt that the campaign would achieve £58,000 in just over a year. It’s been absolutely crazy but everyone is 100 per cent committed to this cause.

“On our Facebook group, it seems as if dogs are dying of cancer every week. It’s devastating. Losing a dog is never easy but if it’s a young dog who has lost its life to cancer, that’s just not right and we need to do something about it.

“My Zoe survived cancer, and it’s only through research that we can find out what makes some dogs different and harness this to one day protect more dogs from this horrible disease. That’s what we’re fighting for.”

Head of Molecular Oncology Research at the AHT, Dr Mike Starkey, hailed Jayne’s fundraising efforts. He said: “Cancer affects one in four dogs, and as dogs make up such a big part of people’s families, losing a dog to cancer can be a really hard thing to deal with. We’re really grateful, and humbled, that Zoe’s Journey UK has chosen us as the beneficiaries of this fundraising campaign.

“Sadly, cancer research in dogs is quite poorly funded so the Zoe’s Journey UK campaign is a huge boost to our research, especially when you consider that any advancements made in cancer research in dogs could have benefits for people, too.”

For more information, search ‘Zoe’s Journey UK’ on Facebook.

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