A young boy is refusing to give up on his dog, Bear, who is deathly ill with a rare fungal infection. 11-year-old Lucas Fuller posted flyers around his neighborhood to advertise himself as “help for hire”. He said he could mow lawns, trim gardens, wash cars. He explained it was to help raise money for his “very sick dog” and he was “working to help pay for his medicine and veterinary care.”
Bear is fighting an infection known as blastomycosis (or “blasto” for short). The infection can spread through a dog’s body and organs and affect their ability to breath and see. It can also cause painful lesions. Bear has lost weight and recently had to be rushed to emergency with pneumonia.
A local woman saw Lucas’ flyer and shared it on Facebook, where Lucas’ mission soon spread to dog lovers who asked to help the Bear and his family by pitching in. Lucas’ mother, Karen helped her son set up a GoFundMe account and soon the family in Pittsboro, Indiana had reached and exceeded their fundraising goal of $2000 by thousands of dollars.
The Fullers wrote that Bear’s infection is unpredictable and complicated. “The infection will take 6 months to heal,” they wrote on the fundraising page. “It currently affects his lungs, skin, eye, lymph nodes and appetite (he has lost 20 lbs.) It is very painful. Last week he developed fungal pneumonia and once again needed treatment in the ER.”
As result of the amazing support they received, Bear was able to be scheduled for his first round of treatments.
“Bear will go back to the doctor on Tuesday, and we are hopeful that his eye has healed and he will not lose vision…The pneumonia really caught us off guard but he seems to have recovered from that very well,” Karen wrote in an update. “He has new skin lesions almost daily, but his appetite was back and he tries to play occasionally. The swelling has come back in his right front and rear right legs making walking difficult. He also has one toe that does not want to heal…We will be back to our amazing doctors at VCA in Fishers.”
But thanks to the funds they’ve received on their GoFundMe page the Fullers are optimistic and grateful. “We, Lucas, Bear, and myself, want to truly express our extreme gratitude for all of the love, support, prayers, and donations that you have sent. You have gone far above and beyond anything we could have ever hoped for and we are truly blessed by each and ever one of you.”
Bear has a fighting chance thanks to Lucas’ unwavering determination to help save his best friend.
Blastomycosis can be picked up from spores in infected soils that can be found anywhere, but particularly in wet environments such as riverbanks, lakes and swamps and other areas rich in decaying matter, such as wooded areas, forests, and farms. Read more about this deadly infection here.