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GOOD Maker Challenge Winner: This Cat Cancer Survivor is Raising Awareness for Feline Health

As Jeanette Cereske's cat Sugar faced mammary cancer, Cereske founded Sugar Rub! to raise awareness about breast cancer in pets.

This post is brought to you by GOOD and Purina ONE®

This summer we put a call out to pet owners in the GOOD Community to share an inspiring photo and story about what their pet does to make the world a better place. In our Picturing Pets GOOD Maker challenge, we received hundreds of submissions from across the U.S. with inspiring photos and stories that celebrate the simple, everyday things that pets do. The community voted on 15 finalists, and now we're excited to announce the winner as Jeanette Cereske and her cat, Sugar.

Cereske and Sugar won a year's supply of Purina ONE cat food. They will also have a $1,500 donation made on their behalf to the Cat Adoption Team Kitten Foster Program, and will enable award-winning photographer Nanette Martin, of Shelter-Me Photography, to conduct a pet photo shoot and photography training session at a pet shelter of her choosing.

A member of Cereske's family since 2008, Sugar was diagnosed in early 2013 with feline mammary cancer. After Sugar's diagnosis, what Cereske found was many people didn't realize that animals can get breast cancer, just like humans can. Seeing an opportunity, Cereske founded Sugar Rub! to raise awareness and encourage pet owners to preform regular breast exams on their pets.

A few days after her diagnosis, Sugar had an unilateral mastectomy and lumpectomies, only to have the cancer return just three months later. After another lumpectomy, it was recommended Sugar undergo chemotherapy. Cereske says, "Sugar handled her five chemo treatments very well—she never got sick or had any side effects."

Sugar's last treatment was on August 5, and at her one month check up she got a good bill of health, but Cerekse says feline mammary cancer is very aggressive, so it's important to be diligent in checking your pets. "Her next check up will be in two months. Her oncologist is comfortable with this because he knows how vigilant I am. I check her and give her a Sugar Rub every day," says Cereske.

With Sugar's prognosis looking good Cereske says, "We are cherishing every day that she is healthy and in remission."

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