A blog about dog training and dog breeding…and other sundry matters

April is Cancer Awareness Month, and I want to dedicate this little space to those still on this earth who struggle with this terrible disease.

Every year around this time I remember a remarkable young woman who fought first breast cancer then AML leukemia.  Her name was Lis Kristoff.   At the time when she was diagnosed with leukemia, she was told that she had just three weeks left to live.  Instead of remaining in hospital where she’d been receiving a lot of blood products, she asked to be released from hospital for a short while to live her final dream:  to run her beloved dog, Diva, one last time in an agility contest.

If Diva and Lis won that competition, the two would have earned their ADCH, the highest agility award possible, and Diva would be only the second dog of her breed to ever win this title.  The doctors agreed to release Lis, and she ran her dog the following day.  Here’s the video of that final run.

Lis’ and Diva’s Last Run

I never met Lis; in fact, we lived thousands of mile apart.  Her story inspired me, and today two years after her passing, she continues to inspire me and thousands of other people by her indomitable spirit.  Lis proved to us that the human spirit is bigger than any obstacle, especially the one called cancer. Her legacy lives on through the inspiration she left behind.

To read an interview that she did after this final run, click here.  Click here to read her very moving letter that she wrote saying goodbye to her friends.

Do not give up.  There’s so much that you can do.  You have so much to offer the world.

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