When Santa Barbaran Anna LePley learned that her four-year-old English cocker spaniel had mass cell cancer, she began “The Apron Campaign” to raise money for his cancer treatments. A single woman, LePley found Jake in the San Diego Humane Society and took him in. Three and a half years later, she discovered Jake developed cancer.
“I was devastated when I first found out about Jake and was at my wit’s end, LePley said. “And then, I saw this apron I made myself and had gotten many, many compliments for. And I realized I could actually take care of Jake through my mind and my hands.”
Word about the project spread quickly. Two days after she posted the idea online, her friends began sending her blogs that had posted links to the campaign. LePley was surprised: all of the bloggers were strangers, “just nice people” who wanted to help.
So far, more than 240 people have ordered the colorfully printed aprons, with some individuals ordering several aprons. LePley created an assembly-line system to make the aprons; she’s completed more than 150. LePley credited her sisters with helping her make the aprons. “They were my slave labor,” she laughed.
LePley has been dedicated to the project for the last three weeks and has “not done anything else” aside from her day job. But the project has been very rewarding and encouraging. When someone would place an order for the aprons, she sent them a thank-you note. In return, she received hundreds of emails from people who had lost their dog to cancer or had saved their dogs with treatment. “I didn’t know anyone before I started this who had this kind of cancer with their dog, and then, all these people responded with words of encouragement,” LePley said.
Although Jake has stage II cancer and will continue to have multiple treatments, LePley believes he will recover since he is “young” and “healthy.” Cancer treatments have gone smoothly so far.
“I found out on a Wednesday that he was sick with cancer, and by Friday, I was ready to raise money with my apron project because people were so encouraging,” LePley said about the response to the project. “It’s quite a blessing.”
Visit the campaign and order an apron at theaproncampaign.blogspot.com/.