BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — Darrell and Nina Hallett love their dog Comet and have reached deeply into their wallets to prove it.
Don't miss these Health stories
More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
- Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
- Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
- CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
- What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says
- More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
The couple spent $45,000 on a stem cell transplant for their golden retriever, who is recovering from lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the immune system.
Dr. Edmund Sullivan, a Bellingham veterinarian, performed the transplant last summer, using stem cells from another golden retriever.
Sue Hendrickson, a friend of the Halletts, owns Comet’s mother and 11 other dogs. She spent months tracking down 40 of Comet’s relatives to donate blood, eventually finding three perfect matches.
She flew to Florida to get Rico, the biggest of the three and the one who could yield the most stem cells, and delivered him to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which donated advice and facilities for the transplant.
The cancer center has performed hundreds of bone-marrow or stem-cell transplants on dogs over the past four decades, as researchers perfected techniques used to treat cancer in humans.
Comet’s transplant happened in June. After a long, steady recovery, he appears to be showing signs that he’s been cured.
© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.