Rally Bear Foundation provides support to canines with cancer

November 07, 2022

Pet Cancer Awareness Month Spotlight

Tucker on underwater treadmill

Tucker getting accupuncture

Navigating a pet’s cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, lonely, and expensive, as Aimee Broussard knows firsthand. That is why she founded The Rally Bear Foundation last summer. The foundation supports rescued dogs and their families with the intention that no one fights cancer alone. Established in honor of Broussard’s dog, Tucker Bear, a rescued Cavalier King Charles spaniel diagnosed with lymphoma and other diseases, the foundation provides comfort and support following a cancer diagnosis.

“If The Rally Bear Foundation can help deliver even a tiny bit of sunshine during this most unfortunate time, then we will have paid forward the immense joy that Tucker gave to us. It is in his honor that we continue to rally,” she said.

As a volunteer-led nonprofit organization, all donations go toward providing Rally Bear Foundation care packages to cancer fighting recipients. The reusable bags include a handmade blanket for comfort, a memory-making DIY “pawcasso” paint project, a Starbuck’s gift card, and a bag of the foundation’s signature dog treats. Broussard hopes her new Foundation will be able to be able to begin making monetary grants in January 2023. As fundraising efforts allow, Broussard aims to begin granting $500-800 per applicant to help cover the cost of a cancer treatment. The funds will be paid directly to the applicants’ veterinary clinics. There is currently a waiting list to apply for a grant. To get on that list, go to rallybearfoundation.org/rally-bear-financial-grants

“If I were struggling to afford treatment for my beloved pet, I know how much it would mean to me to have the vet’s office staff say, ‘Today’s visit is paid for by The Rally Bear Foundation.’ Having a core group of people just as passionate as you are about your pet is what got me through Tucker’s diagnosis. We want to be that group for families who may not have it,” Broussard said.

“It is our mission to blanket every cancer fighting pet and parent who needs it with a bit of kindness. Rally bags serve as gentle reminders that our recipients have an entire team rallying behind them,” said Aimee, a cookbook author, inRegister magazine food columnist, and recipe developer with appearances on QVC, Rachael Ray, House Beautiful, and elsewhere. She started her business, Aimee’s Pretty Palate, in 2012.

Aimee has brought three of her dogs to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for treatment. She hopes her resources can support not only LSU Vet Med’s oncology clients, but others in need. 

Tucker Bear was a regular patient in the LSU Integrative Medicine & Rehabilitation service, where he received acupuncture, herbal therapy, and rehabilitation for several years to treat Cushing’s disease and other acute conditions. During one of those appointments, Lorrie Hale-Mitchell, DVM, MS, CTCVMP, CVA, assistant professor of integrative medicine and rehabilitation, noticed Tucker’s lymph nodes were swollen, the first indication he had lymphoma.

When Tucker landed in ICU because his lymph nodes were pressing on his trachea and he was struggling to breathe, an oncologist said, “I think he still has it in him to rally,” which he did for another four months before he passed away in July 2022. That same week, Broussard’s application for her nonprofit’s 501(c)3 was approved and The Rally Bear Foundation became official.

Another one of Aimee’s dogs, Murphy, also a rescued Cavalier King Charles spaniel, has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He completed Stereotactic Radiation Therapy at LSU in August 2022.

“I am equally as passionate about rescue, so it is important to us to assist rescues however we can,” she said.

The Foundation’s fall fundraiser, the sale of Pumpkin Power Bites treats for dogs in honor of National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, exceeded expectations by selling out within 24 hours. They are currently restocking and will be announcing holiday gifting that includes options for treating shelters and rescues with the popular treats.

Learn more about The Rally Bear Foundation at rallybearfoundation.org

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.