PuppyUp! Volunteer Fran Hickman Travels with the Pack

Fran Hickman is Passionate About Fundraising for PuppyUp! Foundation

What's your role with PuppyUp! Foundation?

I am a "PUPS" - a PuppyUp Program Sponsor. I organize the annual walk for PuppyUp Foundation in Little, Rock, Arkansas each year in November. We host a silent auction at the same time, place and location of the walk. My volunteers and I attend doggy events throughout the year to spread the word about PuppyUp and its mission to educate people about canine cancer and comparative oncology research. I am also involved in rescue in my community.

Why did you chose to volunteer with PuppyUp?

My history with the organization goes back before it was even conceived. The founder, Luke Robinson, had a Great Pyrenees, Malcolm, pass away from cancer and he felt he had to do something about it to honor Malcom. Luke decided to walk from Austin to Boston to increase awareness of canine cancer. I heard about his endeavor and offered him a place to stay when he and his two Great Pyrenees Hudson and Murphy passed through Little Rock.

When he arrived in Boston in 2010, it was decided he needed to keep the mission alive so PuppyUp was conceived.

Through a natural sequence of events, I was designated to organize the walk in Little Rock. Just three years after Luke passed through Little Rock, my boxer, Mack was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor, which was successfully surgically treated.

It's easy to see why the mission of PuppyUp resonates with you.

I hate cancer in people and in animals. More of our canine companions are being diagnosed with cancer and at an earlier age. I especially like the fact that the grants awarded by PuppyUp are for research that benefits both pets and people.

Have you or any you know lost a beloved pet to cancer?

Yes, both. My Mack had two types of cancer in his life. He died with a diagnosis of lymphoma. I have lost two aunts and a great uncle to cancer. I have one uncle who has survived both brain and trigeminal nerve cancer.

What enjoyable outdoor activities do you with your furry family member?

I like to walk with Boomer and we spend a lot of time at the lake.

When on-the-go with your pet, you carry the WoofPack dog walking accessory bag. What do you find valuable about the WoofPack? Why would you recommend the Pack to other dog owners?

The WoofPack is very handy. I always find myself needing three hands when I'm walking with Boomer and especially if I have more than one dog (which I usually have had in my lifetime). I put my phone, keys, water and when necessary, poop bags in the WoofPack while on a walk - all in separate compartments. The WoofPack is very durable, roomy and well-designed.

Anything else you'd like to add about PuppyUp?

PuppyUp has one paid employee but otherwise is an all volunteer organization with a very important message that dogs get cancer, too, and we must find a cure and stop both human and canine cancers. The research funded by PuppyUp is groundbreaking and very important to our world.

Learn more about PuppyUp.

Want a more enjoyable on-the-go experience with your pet like Fran? Let WoofPack carry the load! When ordering your Pack, put "PU" in the special instructions box and 10% will be donated to the organization.

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