BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Last summer KRHD introduced viewers to U.S. Navy veteran and former Aggie student Carson Wehmeyer and his service dog Moe.
Around this Valentine’s Day, Moe was diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg, and desperately needed treatment. Today, Moe is moving in a hopeful direction.
After Moe was diagnosed, Wehmeyer was distraught, unsure how he was going to afford Moe’s amputation surgery and chemotherapy on a ranch hand’s salary. Wehmeyer launched a GoFundMe campaign, raising nearly $4,500 for Moe. Then, something incredible happened.
After seeing KRHD's story on Moe’s journey, veteran service dog nonprofit Hank and Eli’s Fund reached out to Wehmeyer, pledging to donate all other expenses needed for Moe’s treatment.
“If Carson was not able to afford that treatment, he would have had to put Moe down," said William Cole, director of the nonprofit. "To lose something that you love so much, so fast, it’s not only traumatizing, but it’s just – it's not beneficial to the veteran, either.”
Cole, also a veteran with a service dog, said he knows what Wehmeyer is going through.
“I’m actually here at Texas A&M [small animal hospital] right now, in College Station," Cole told KRHD Wednesday afternoon. "We discovered that my service dog actually has a tumor under his tongue. We found out yesterday.”
Cole explained Hank & Eli's Fund, started on behalf of veteran Colton Rusk and his service dog, exists to give veterans as much time with their injured or sick service animals as possible. Thanks to the fund, Moe has successfully undergone not only surgery but two rounds of chemotherapy.
"Moe's still got a long road," Wehmeyer said. "But [doctors] said the side effects for chemo would be throwing up, not really having an appetite, not really wanting to do anything - and I think Moe is really beating that because he has had an appetite and hasn’t been throwing up."
Wehmeyer shared that veterinarians believe Moe could potentially live up to two more years if he’s lucky. For the young Aggie veteran, the support of multiple charities and dozens of individual people has saved a life.
“I can’t explain what it means to me because I don’t have the words for it," Wehmeyer commented. "I’m extremely [grateful] for all the love and hope he’s been given. I mean, the Aggie network is something crazy.”
Wehmeyer explained that his GoFundMe donations will be used in part to fund Moe’s non-emergency needs. But, most of the money Wehmeyer will donate towards all the nonprofits who have specifically helped him and Moe, and towards Texas A&M’s veterinary teaching hospital.