Four years ago, Edgard Carnoso Principe and his long-time girlfriend Francine came to America from Brazil with their Boston Terrier, Chloe, to study English. They hope eventually to become permanent residents.
They live in Newport Beach and Edgard works as a shaper of surfboards. Francine works as a nanny. They have gotten by on part-time work and limited income. But last November their resources were tested.
Chloe, who is 10 years old, was having some discomfort, so they took her to Mesa West Pet Hospital not far from their home. After checking the dog, Edgard said, “the doctor [Lethicia Lepera] said that she found tumors and she needed to test to see if they were real [cancerous]. They were real and she said they needed to be removed as soon as possible.”
The couple faced the possibility of losing their beloved companion because they did not have money for the surgery. Francine had just lost a job and Edgard was working part time. Dr. Lepara suggested applying for an Angel Fund grant.
“We applied and we got it,” Edgard said. “The doctor took off three [mast cell] tumors, one on her belly and two on her legs.” The Angel Fund grant was for $500, a sum matched by the hospital.
“We took Chloe home after the surgery and she was walking like normal and eating the next day. It took her two or three weeks to get completely back to normal.”
The dog has not had any additional tumors since then and is “happy and healthy,” Edgard said. “She’s fine right now. She is super good. But she does have something on her neck that we’re going to get checked. She had a growth that a doctor in Brazil took off a few years ago but she hadn’t had any more until we took her in last November. She is super healthy, happy and a normal dog.
“If Angel Fund hadn’t helped us, we couldn’t have done the surgery. I don’t make a lot of money and Francine doesn’t work all the time. We tried to talk to some friends [about helping] but it was a lot of money.”
The couple is grateful to Angel Fund. “If we didn’t get the money, we couldn’t have gotten the surgery,” Edgard said. “Without Angel Fund we would probably have had to put Chloe down for sure. It helped us a lot.”