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Betty came to my husband and I on June 30, 2016, along with her mom and four siblings, after they were abandoned at a junkyard by our business, and the junkyard owner was going to shoot them. Mom was about 1 year old, and her kittens were about 5 to 6 weeks. Unable to find good, quality homes for them, we decided to keep them all. We had 10 other cats at that time and currently have 23.Our cats live pretty happy and healthy lives. Of course, with this many cats under the same roof, they are bound to have their battles. But for the most part, they get along, or at least tolerate each other.In August 2019, I noticed some concerning changes in Betty. She was no longer greeting me at the door when I got home from work, asking to be picked up so she can chew my hair. Her appetite was decreasing, she appeared to be losing weight, and she was sleeping a lot.On August 27th, 2019 I took Betty to see her vet. She had lost 3 lbs. X-rays were normal and she had no fever, but based on the results of her CBC, her vet was highly suspicious that Betty had wet FIP. I remember when she drew the blood for the CBC, the technician remarked how rich it looked. The vet did prescribe Clavamox just in case this was some other type of infection and not FIP, but Betty never responded to it.My world came crashing down that day when the vet broke the news to me. I felt like I couldn't breathe! I'm going to lose my precious baby girl? What about all my other cats? FIP may not be contagious, but the coronavirus that causes it is, and what if it mutates in one or more of the other cats? And 5 of those other cats are biologically related to Betty, and I know there's a genetic predisposition. What am I going to do?! These and many other thoughts went through my head all at the same time. And many of these concerns still worry me today, and I expect they always will.The vet also told me that day that, full disclosure, she had another client that purchased a drug from China to treat her cat's FIP, and her cat was doing well, but that she couldn't endorse this drug as is wasn't FDA approved. She didn't know the exact cost, but from what she gathered it was somewhere around $6,000 to $7,000, way out of our league. But I couldn't stop thinking about this treatment, and it was killing me at the thought of my cat dying because I couldn't afford it. So I decided to look for a support group on Facebook and found one. Through this group I found another group where you could purchase the treatment medication. I wasn't going to join. It would just torture me to learn more about the treatment when I couldn't afford it. But I had to join. Maybe Betty's vet was wrong about the cost. Maybe there was help available for people who couldn't afford it. I didn't know, but I had to try. So I joined. Within minutes I received a PM from one of the admins asking if I was interested in purchasing GS441514. I explained that this must be the drug my vet was telling me about, but if the cost was anywhere near what she thought, then there was no way I could afford it. He told me there was another company supplying the treatment at a much lower cost. Instead of $400 per via, this company charged $75 per vial. Based on Betty's weight of 7.3 lbs., he estimated my total cost to be between $1,500 and $2,000 depending on weight gain. Can you afford that? He asked. To which I replied, I will find a way! And I did!It just so happened there was a member of the group that was local to me and he put me in touch with her. She reached out right away to help me. It turned out she was a client that my vet had told me about who purchased the treatment for her cat and whose cat was doing well! Talk about fate! I bought my first vial of GS off of her, and she came to my house the following day, September 2, 2019, and gave Betty her first injection out of 84 total in most cases. Within an hour Betty started eating on her own. It was only a small amount in the beginning, but she was eating! Within two weeks you would have never known she was sick! She was acting like her old self and was gaining weight! Today is November 22, 2019, and Betty had her 82nd injection. Two more days to go God willing! She continues to do amazingly well and has gained back nearly all of the weight she had lost. As long as her bloodwork on November 25th supports that she is FIP free, she'll graduate in two days, November 24, 2019! GS truly is a miracle drug!I just signed up here at ZenCat to be a monthly contributor for FIP research and the Treatment Fund as well. My hope is that one day very soon,GS441514, or an even better, more effectivetreatment for FIP, will be FDA approved, affordable, and readily available to all that need it. And maybe even a cure for all strains of the coronavirus and a more effective vaccination against FIP! That would be awesome!
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