#CurePetCancer: We take the challenge personally

Last Sunday in Long Beach, Calif., I again had the honor of handing a check to the Animal Cancer Foundation at the Nationwide K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk. The event was our ninth annual, and the turnout was the best yet — 475 participants! The check was big in more than dimensions: When the dust settled, we’d raised $27,617 almost $30,000.

This is National Pet Cancer Awareness month, and as great an event as we just had, I can tell you that we’re not done yet.

walkThe Nationwide K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk is just one part of our all-out effort this month to get the word out and raise money for the cause. At Nationwide we know how devastating the very word “cancer” can be: As the largest pet health insurer we sadly receive thousands of claims for it. In 2014 alone, we helped pet-owners with 67,000 claims for diagnosis and treatment.  And because we are a company of pet-lovers and pet-owners, many of our associates know the struggles first-hand, because we have lost pets of our own to cancer.

We know the fear, the cost and the pain of loss. And we have been working to do something about it. Like our K9Ks, in which more than 6,000 pet-lovers have participated since 2007, raising more than $250,000 for the Animal Cancer Foundation.

We are also in the middle of our #CurePetCancer social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We want people to share their stories and their pictures, and for every one that carries the #CurePetCancer hashtag, we’ll donate $5 to the cause, up to $20,000 $30,000. With a few clicks, you can also find free educational materials for your practice that help to educate on prevention, and on early detection.

10152417_1665178977028818_9022842364798049212_nThis year, of course, we’ve also stepped up our available coverage. Our new Whole Pet with Wellness is like nothing else we’ve ever offered, and it’s more comprehensive than anything offered by our competitors.  With a low annual deductible (not per incident), no annual cap and 90 percent coverage, it truly does protect what matters most when a pet is diagnosed with cancer. The wellness coverage that’s included will also help with early detection.

Yes, November is the month we pull out all the stops to raise money and awareness, but in all honesty, cancer is never out of minds. We live with the sadness, and we live with the hope. And we do our best to offer coverage that will let veterinarians use every tool at their disposal to fight for the lives of their patients.

Next year I hope you can join us for our K9K, because it really is a wonderful event, with hundreds turning out as a community to help. And for rest of this month, please work with us to help #CurePetCancer by sharing our information and our hashtag on social media, and encouraging others to do the same.