Published: 12 January 2016

One cat’s legacy advances clinical care for many

The arrival of one small Burmese kitten into the home of Fiona and Jim Hindle in 1988 has led to a charity that has recently funded pioneering equipment to give the best clinical care to animals in the 21st century.

Called Rumba, the chocolate-coloured cat is the inspiration behind the Foundation which bears his name after he died from cancer at the age of nine.

The Rumba Foundation has donated £50,000 to buy a C-arm fluoroscope to support the Veterinary Cancer Research Programme at the University, led by Chair of Oncology Professor Nick Bacon.

It will be delivered in partnership with veterinary practice Fitzpatrick Referrals at its Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre on Surrey Research Park, and will focus on research into cancer, its causes and novel approaches to treatment.

The C-arm, which is designed for human use too, uses x-rays to produce real time moving images and allows surgeons to treat specific organs, such as inserting a stent into a blocked blood vessel or uretha, or carry out minimally invasive fracture repair.

Nick, who is also clinical director at the centre,said: “The equipment adds a whole new avenue for therapy in cats and dogs .The Rumba funding not only allows us to do more advanced therapies on animals to save lives, but also makes the treatment very accessible – as we haven’t had to buy the machine ourselves, it makes it significantly cheaper for owners than it would normally be so this gift has a double benefit.

“There are also opportunities to collaborate with oncologists at the Royal Surrey Hospital, to advance new treatments with the C-arm for humans and animals.”

For the trustees of the Rumba Foundation, the inspirational work of the team at the University and Fitzpatrick Referrals is in harmony with their mission to supports specific projects that have a direct impact on companion animal health and particularly those that benefit both animals and humans.

Fiona said: “Nick and the team share our passion to make a genuine difference to pets and their families and we believe that investing in the world-renowned veterinary clinicians at the Vet School and Fitzpatrick could lead to breakthroughs in cancer treatment and, ultimately, cure.

“It was an absolute privilege and honour to share our lives with Rumba, and we wanted to mark his life with some sort of legacy so that goodness came out of tragedy. The Rumba Foundation is a legacy to an animal that changed our lives forever, as well as all companion animals which deserve the very best of clinical care.”

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