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Paws for a Cause

Brittney Moore, vet assistant at Animal Medical Care, trims the nails of Nismo, a 6-month-old black Lab, during the first-ever Paws for a Cause event Saturday afternoon. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew)

MARQUETTE — Students of the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center kicked off the first-ever Paws for a Cause fundraising event last weekend to help cancer patients.

The event took place Saturday afternoon at the Animal Medical Center of Marquette along Wright Street, where anyone could bring their pets to get a nail trim by a veterinarian assistant.

The UMBTC is a collaboration between Northern Michigan University and UP Health System-Marquette. It consists of a group of clinicians, researchers and students who work to advance treatment, research, education and advocacy for people affected by brain tumors.

Each year, students assemble care packages for patients undergoing chemotherapy at the Marquette hospital. All proceeds from Saturday’s function will go toward the bundles, which will include anything from lotions and lip balms to gift cards and puzzle books.

Dr. Amber LaCrosse is the lab director of the UMBTC. She said Paws for a Cause is a way to support patients with cancer and raise awareness of the lab so researchers can continue to make advances.

“It’s good for patients to know they’re supported and that we’re constantly trying to find better treatments,” she said.

Jordan Wallace, a senior at NMU majoring in clinical laboratory science, said he’s grateful for the UMBTC because students are able to work alongside professionals and other students, or by themselves if they please.

“Anyone is welcome to the lab if they have an interest in the research,” he said. “You get a lot from it as you’re able to sort of take advantage of being at a smaller school. We’re often doing masters-level work and constantly learning a lot of valuable information.”

Brittney Moore, a vet assistant at Animal Medical Center and student researcher at the UMBTC, clipped animals’ nails Saturday. She said Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, who owns the animal center, donated the clinic so the group was able to host the event.

Information about the Hope Starts Here Challenge, which is a collaboration between River Valley Bank, UPHS, NMU and the Superior Health Foundation, was also available Saturday. The upcoming event is slated for May 11 and will consist of a half marathon and duathlon, 5 and 10-kilometer runs, a leisure walk and a 1-mile fun run for kids. All proceeds will go toward the UMBTC. More information can be found at www.hopestartshere.org.

Anyone unable to attend Paws for a Cause can still donate to the UMBTC. Contact umbtc@nmu.edu with any questions, or visit www.nmu.edu/umbtc/ for more information.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.