When New Yorker Jodi Ekberg’s Siberian Husky Frankie was diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma, she didn’t think twice about spending whatever it would take to get her healthy and keep her that way. The 57-year-old hospital volunteer had gotten Frankie as a therapy dog after herself being diagnosed with cancer. Frankie passed a year ago according to Metro, but Ekberg remains about $40,000 in debt, and she’s fine with that.
“Frankie was my canine soulmate. Anything that was happening to me would happen to Frankie, but he always went one step further. As a working therapy dog, Frankie helped so many people and bringing smiles to so many faces. So, our whole world turned upside down when he was diagnosed… and given four weeks to live.”
Frankie had three brothers who Ekberg also adopted. She credits them all with getting through multiple illnesses and injuries.
“My boys didn’t let cancer take me and I couldn’t let cancer take my baby without a fight. I would have sold our home and lived in our van if we had to so that Frankie could live.”
She wasn’t left to cover all of her dog’s medical expenses alone though. People at the Empire State Snow Dog Club raised about $21,000 for his care following his 2015 diagnosis.
Unfortunately, Frankie was not out of the woods. Cancer was found on his skull in 2016. The ensuing chemotherapy and surgeries led to more than $48,000 more in debt. The chemotherapy alone cost about $625 every two weeks. Jodi and her husband Bruce took out a loan, ran up their credit cards, sold jewelry and a timeshare to cover the costs. Frankie was given four to six weeks by his vet but lived another 20 months. The Ekbergs were considering selling their home when he passed in May 2017. Ekberg said she would do it all again given the chance. She talked about the day Frankie died.
“Before I lost Frankie, I told him that it was just his body that was sick, but a soul never dies and to please find his way back to me. Even now I still feel his presence in our home and know that he is always going to be here with us as he has sent us so many signs.”
She has since adopted a new husky named Ollie that she believes Frankie sent to her and her husband. It has the same color coat and eyes as Frankie.