Metro State University Foundation
Henry Duong is a natural giver and helper.
“I grew up always helping people in some form or fashion,” Duong says.
So maybe it was fate that Duong would win the Scott and Lisa Shaw Endowed Memorial Scholarship. Scott and Lisa were natural givers and helpers, too. They were enthusiastic about helping others, volunteering to help the less fortunate, preserving the environment and making a true difference in the world. They died tragically in a light aircraft crash while sightseeing. Scott was 31 and Lisa was just 30.
But their spirit lives on in Duong. Conscientious, hardworking and yes, clearly dedicated to helping others.
He and five of his friends have even founded their own nonprofit that that gives Asian American Pacific Islander youth educational opportunities.
And when he started school at MSU Denver, his life’s path became even clearer. “Coming into college I knew that the education route could be one way to serve,” Duong says.
Then he began working in the New Student Orientation office.
“When I started helping other students, that’s when I found a unique opportunity that could turn into a career,” he says. “It’s inspired me to want to work with college students professionally.”
Today Duong is majoring in behavioral science and plans to enter a master’s program in student affairs after he graduates.
“First and foremost, winning the scholarship means security,” Duong says. “My parents immigrated to give their children a better life. My dad worked as a busboy and delivery boy his whole life here. My mom worked for a Jeep cover manufacturer that outsourced over two years ago and she has only found temporary work recently. They worked so hard, yet they've earned very little and can’t contribute to my college expenses. So this scholarship means a better life for me.”
Orion's star shines a bitlonger
Jody Kujovich felt helpless last March when she found Orion, her family’s beautiful nine-year-old Golden Retriever, collapsed on the living room floor.
She and her family rushed Orion to their veterinarian’s office. After reviewing an echocardiogram, Dr. Robert Franklin conducted an emergency procedure to drain a liter of fluid from the sac surrounding Orion’s heart. After performing a number of additional tests, he diagnosed the dog with hemangiosarcoma, a deadly cancer that attacks the lining of blood vessels and spreads throughout the body.
The Kujovichs had a difficult decision to make: go forward with high-risk surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on Orion’s heart or do nothing and watch their friend and companion die.
The family immediately contacted the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University and scheduled appointments with specialists. One specialist was Dr. Stuart Helfand, a professor of veterinary oncology who has devoted his lengthy career to finding a cure for canine hemangiosarcoma.
Through a study funded by you and other Morris Animal Foundation supporters, Dr. Helfand is testing a type of hemangiosarcoma treatment that specifically blocks rapid cancer cell growth. The treatment has proven far superior to traditional chemotherapy, which indiscriminately kills all rapidly dividing cells—even healthy ones.
After successful surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, Orion underwent customized, though experimental, treatments with Dr. Helfand. Orion was the first dog to be treated with dasatinib, a cancer-fighting drug often used to treat human patients with cancer. Although Orion ultimately lost his battle against cancer, the Kujovichs say the extra time they had with him was “a gift beyond measure.”
Dasatinib had already been shown to inhibit canine hemangiosarcoma in a laboratory setting. By participating in this experimental treatment, Orion provided valuable information that will help improve this cancer treatment.
“We are very excited by the information our research is uncovering,” says Dr. Helfand.
Colorado Humane Society & S.P.C.A., Inc.(CCC # 1359)
A horse named Blue was among 54 animals who thought they had a home at a southern Colorado rescue facility. But last year Blue and all of his pals were turned loose by the facility’s owner. She left them to scavenge for food on the dry open range.
Blue tried to find enough to eat, but as months went by, he became thinner and thinner, and it was harder and harder to keep up his strength.
Blue suffered what no animal should, but he is alive and well today because he and the other horses were rescued by agents from The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA. The agents worked in tandem with the Costilla County sheriff to round the animals up; see that they received good hay, grain and veterinary care; and then move them to a rehabilitation and adoption facility.
Once fully restored to health, Blue went to his new lifelong home. He was adopted by Wayne Hughes of Hughes Hacienda Bed & Breakfast near Colorado Springs. Hughes had been looking for a young horse for his near-daily trail rides.
Friends who know Hughes now describe Blue as “the luckiest horse on the planet.”
Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado (CCC # 0930)
Pictured in the attachment is Mark Condon, part of The Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado staff. Mark was the keynote speaker at Cathleen’s Cause Gala & Fundraiser on November 2, 2012.
Mark is a brain injury survivor himself. He was severely injured when he was 22 years old, hit by drunk driver and he suffered massive brain damage. He was in a coma for 32 days and remained in a vegetative state for another month. From that point to now, Mark has experienced remarkable success. 17 years after his TBI, he graduated with Rehabilitation Counseling Master's Degree and became a Certified School Counselor. Mark is currently a Resource Navigator for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.
Dick’s Wish of a Lifetime
Dick O. is an energetic and lively 88-year-old from Golden, Colorado. Dick’s Wish of a Lifetime was to visit Quantico Marine Base to deliver his father's WWI memorabilia that will be displayed in Quantico's Marine Corps Museum.
Dick was a member of the 10th Mountain Division during WWII. The 10th was a unique mountain warfare unit of the US Army where soldiers were trained to ski, so that they could fight in the tough terrain of Italian mountains. Although Dick was never stationed in Italy, he remains a very active member in the 10th Mountain Division Rocky Mountain Chapter. Dick's Wish to visit Quantico Marine Base was one he held close to his heart. Thanks to supporters of Wish of a Lifetime, Dick’s Wish was granted and he made the trip to Quantico’s Marine Corps Museum where he donated a wide variety of WWI memorabilia. Quantico’s Marine Corp Museum gladly accepted these priceless artifacts. Dick's father’s legacy will forever live on.
Wish of a Lifetime’s program is to grant Wishes to deserving senior citizens just like Dick. Wish of a Lifetime’s mission is to help create a culture change that loves, honors and respects our senior citizens. For more information on Wish of a Lifetime and to read the stories behind Wishes granted, please go to www.seniorwish.org.