Local people have long known, in general, that Team Gloria does a lot of good work raiding money to fight cancer. Well, today a young woman from Clearwater, BC, named Ariel Verge sent a letter to The Current in which she publicly thanked Team Gloria for its generosity in helping her further her education by becoming a Bio Detection Dog Trainer and Handler. For those of you who don’t know this, dogs can detect cancer in human. I know this to be true because an Airedale I had in the 1990s detected malignant melanoma in me. Lucy’s consistent attention to a misshapen and oddly coloured mole that had been on my collarbone for four or five years, prompted me to seek my physician’s attention and the mole, diagnosed as a malignant melanoma was successfully excised. If not for Lucy, I might have ignored the melanoma until it was too late.
To the Editor:
Born and raised for many years in Clearwater, BC, I took my schooling at the Canada West Canine Center in Salmon Arm, BC, to become a certified Basic Obedience and Master Dog Trainer. During the second course I realized that I wanted to specialize in scent work, specifically in cancer detection. I returned home to set up my business, Verge of Dawn Canine Training, and in between all that work I continued to do research towards my 5-year goal of scent dog training and handling. But in August 2016 that plan changed.
The InSitu Foundation of Chico, California, has begun offering certification courses for becoming a Bio Detection Dog Trainer and Handler, with a focus on using dogs to detect cancer. Now, instead of spending years gaining enough experience to hammer out my own methods I can spend a week in school and learn from an extremely successful and world-renowned trainer — a far more effective choice. The course itself was $4,000 (US)… and that was not including travel costs and other expenses — roughly $1,300 (CND) — although the school was kind enough to offer housing during our stay.
That is a high total for a new business to come up with in a short 3 months time, so I approached my community and sent out sponsorship letters to those I thought may be interested, and Team Gloria in Revelstoke answered. They pledged $1,600 (CND) towards my school payments which was more generosity than I dared to hope for from a small fundraising group. An additional amount of $1,000 was an even more amazing and extremely welcome surprise. With their support I have reached my goal and will be flying to school on November 6.
God willing, I will return to Clearwater as the first nationally certified Bio Detection Dog Trainer in BC, fully prepared to begin changing the way cancer is screened in Canada, for years to come. Thanks in a large part to the generosity and support of Team Gloria.