To those who have cancer, a support system can extend beyond people. The American Cancer Society's Bark For Life is a way for people to come together and honor their canine best friends that comforted them through their illness.
Part of Relay For Life, Bark For Life celebrates the relationship between cancer survivors and their canine caregivers, all while raising awareness of research and programs that the American Cancer Society provides in the community. Bark For Life is a way to recognize an important member of the family.
“Pets know when we're sick and when something's not right and they provide this unconditional love and support,” Bark For Life's community manager, Lauren Polchinski said.
Started by an animal-loving volunteer in Pennsylvania, Bark For Life has now spread throughout the country. When Polchinski started with the American Cancer Society in October 2011, one of her jobs was to bring Bark For Life to Oklahoma City. Polchinski's found that Bark For Life has done really well because Oklahoma City is a big animal-loving community.
Every few months this nonprofit organization holds fundraising events to help raise money and awareness. On top of having about five to seven events a year, Bark For Life also has a walk each year. The events are all geared toward animals, where the dogs can take part in different games and activities.