Other Ways To Give
One of the ways people learn about Winn Feline Foundation and its impact on feline health is through the devastating illness and loss of a beloved cat companion. This results in a deep sense of loss along with a desire to find answers about a particular disease in way that also memorializes their special cat companion. One unique option Winn offers is the ability to provide a thoughtful gift recognizing the importance and memory of such a valuable friend while improving the future health of other cats.
Following an initial specific gift amount determined by Winn, the Board of Directors will name a specific grant in honor of your special cat. Your favorite feline’s story will be posted on Winn’s website and shared throughout Winn’s community of cat enthusiasts via social media and Winn’s newsletter. Non-confidential summary progress reports of the project will also be shared with sponsors earlier than to the general public.
Download a donation form to mail or email.
Holly Aglialoro was one of the first people to approach Winn about her special cat, Augustus, and the desire to have his life and memory facilitate fundraising for heart disease, especially feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, through the Ricky Fund.
2017's Ricky Fund study, W17-008, "Growing heart muscle cells in a dish in the lab to test HCM treatments" was sponsored by Holly Aglialoro in memory of Augustus.
Have you heard about Augustus?
I found Augustus as an abandoned kitten outside my apartment complex and we bonded immediately. For 12 years, Augustus dutifully followed me around the house, comforted me, wrapped his paws around my neck after meowing for me to pick him up, and always greeted me at the front door when I came home. Instinctively he knew when I was upset, rubbing up against me and purring.
Like Steve Dale’s Ricky, Augustus had special skills such as opening cabinets and drawers by standing on his hind paws, grasping the top of the cabinet with his front paws and pulling.
Augustus was very healthy most of his life until he reached age 11 when he developed a urinary blockage and had to have surgery. During this time, the surgeon also diagnosed feline HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). He survived surgery and I fed him a prescription urinary cat food diet.
Just like so many others who have faced the sudden loss of a cat companion due to HCM, on June 4, 2016 I lost Augustus. One minute he was greeting me as usual and purring, a short time later I found him deceased on the living room floor.
My solace is that his tragic death was so sudden that he did not suffer. Augustus was at home, knowing he was loved. Losing Augustus to such a devastating disease such as HCM showed me that finding answers about preventing or treating HCM was critical. Having a grant related to HCM research that is named for Augustus is one way Augustus’ memory will be recognized as part of that critical search for answers.
Donate to the Ricky Fund for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research to honor Augustus (choose a specific purpose or fund).
Quasimodo and the Kitty Kollar™ Story
Donna Garrou is another individual who approached Winn about how she could help fund research on cancer, especially small cell lymphoma, in cats. Her cat, Quasimodo, developed low-grade, small cell lymphoma and Donna through her determination and ingenuity developed a medical device as an aid to his need for enteral feeding, an esophagostomy feeding tube, to maintain nutrition and weight for healing.
Donna, through Kitty Kollar Customers Care at Winn, also supports efforts that raise research funds related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats.
Speckles Abdominal Cancer Study, W17-011, "A viral gene expression analysis towards preventing feline lymphoma" was sponsored by Kitty Kollar™ in memory of Quasimodo.
Read about Quasi and the development of Kitty Kollar
Quasimodo and the Kitty Kollar™ Story
The Kitty Kollar™ story is really the story of a remarkable cat, “Quasimodo”. Normally independent and aloof, giving affection on his own terms, he became intensely affectionate and loving after being diagnosed with cancer (small cell intestinal lymphoma). His bravery through physical pain and symptoms, innumerable veterinary visits, and the entire cancer experience was nothing short of inspirational.
Dealing with a chronic, life-threatening illness brings challenges and when Quasi stopped eating, his veterinarian suggested a feeding tube. I was terrified of the concept as most owners are. But since I had already tried syringe feeding and that was a non-starter, I reluctantly agreed. Soon I found out how wrong I was to be worried about the e-tube (esophagostomy tube); it was a lifesaver and it started us on this journey that would greatly increase his comfort and help so many cats and dogs.
The primary challenge was the bandaging needed for the e-tube. The bandages would get dirty and wet and cause skin irritation and the wrap always seemed to be either too tight or too loose. The critical episode occurred when Quasi removed the tube altogether and had to have it replaced. In 2009, after working on prototypes with a very patient Quasi, I developed the Kitty Kollar, an esophageal tube collar that resolved the issues of security, cleanliness and comfort. This now-patented medical device is rapidly becoming the standard for protecting feeding tubes, but began as a labor of love for a special kitty. Kitty Kollars and Kanine Kollars currently have veterinary distribution through Jorgensen Laboratories and are in use by individual cats and dogs in virtually every country around the world.
On September 25, 2010, after a long and happy remission from his lymphoma, Quasi could no longer fight and lost his battle with cancer. Quasi leaves the Kitty Kollar as a legacy to all the kitties and “kanines” that come after him, to offer them comfort and a gentle hug. Far too many beloved pets are suffering from lymphoma and other cancers, pancreatitis, chronic kidney disease, and other heartbreaking illnesses. Through donations to Winn, I hope to honor Quasi’s memory and perhaps help us learn more about diagnosis and prevention of these chronic diseases.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to donate to support the work made possible by Winn and to provide a platform for our customers to help raise money for research in the name of their own beloved pets.
Donate to honor Kitty Kollar™'s support for research by choosing Kitty Kollar Customers Care (choose a specific purpose or fund).