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Carnation heirs make record donation of $10 million to CSU animal cancer center

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The family of Carnation Milk Co. founder E. Hadley Stuart has donated $10 million to the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center. The gift from the Hadley and Marion Stuart Foundation, led by Nan Stuart and her brother Brett Stuart, is the largest gift ever to the cancer center. It nearly doubles the operational funds supporting the center’s efforts to research and treat canine cancer.

“This new gift reflects Hadley Stuart’s legacy and the close 30-year relationship we have so greatly appreciated between the Stuart family and the CSU veterinary cancer program,” said Dr. Rodney Page, a medical oncologist and director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center. “This gift will truly sustain our work, and we cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to the Stuart family.”

Much of the center's work with canine cancer has paved the way for new approaches in human cancer treatment. A limb-sparing surgical technique to treat osteosarcoma, a malignant tumor of long bones in dogs, was developed by Animal Cancer Center founder Dr. Stephen Withrow, and the method has been widely adopted at human cancer centers. “This level of support sets the cancer center on a sustainable path as a leading innovator in translational cancer research and patient care,” said Dr. Page.

A university release dated January 29, 2014, traces the history of the Stuart family’s relationship with the center to 1983, when E. Hadley Stuart first brought one of his golden retrievers to CSU for cancer care. Since then, the Stuart family has provided a total of nearly $22 million to support the Animal Cancer Center’s work.

Recently, the Animal Cancer Center has been treating Nan Stuart’s beloved golden retriever, Keester, who suffers from brachial neurofibrosarcoma, a malignant nerve sheath tumor off the spinal cord. A new radiation protocol and rehabilitation plan reduces pain for the 8-year-old dog. Keester and Stuart’s other golden retrievers are highly trained to perform emergency rescues from swift water and ice. Stuart’s dogs have helped to train thousands of emergency responders through Code 3 Associates of Longmont, a nonprofit Stuart founded to provide professional animal disaster response and training.

The Stuart family has had three other dogs treated at the Flint Animal Cancer Center for hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive tumor of the blood vessels, said Nan Stuart in the CSU release. The relationship has provided the family with an insider’s view of the center’s work.

Our cancer team is the most fantastic group of people imaginable. It’s phenomenal.”
—Nan Stuart, Hadley and Marion Stuart Foundation

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