To celebrate the launch of our F*ck Cancer collection, Taylor stopped by the Schwartzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) to chat with Dr. Rachel, the oncologist who treated her baby, Tate. The conversation was informative, emotional, and, most of all, inspiring. We think it really shows why we’re so proud to support AMC with a portion of the proceeds from this launch.

Taylor: Hello, everybody. Today I’m here at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, chatting with Dr. Rachel. She was Tate's oncologist when he was treated for his lymphoma here. I'm so excited to talk with you today.

Dr. Rachel: Oh, it's great to see you again. And it's great to remember our beloved Tate.

Taylor: I have a couple of questions for you, starting with a bit of background. What drew you to veterinary care?

Dr. Rachel: I’ve always been interested in living things, be it a flower, be it a bird. Anything outside, I loved.And I just loved science. So I said, "Hey, science, animals, that sounds like a veterinarian." So I went down that path. 

I decided to do oncology because I had a little Westie named Wesley who was diagnosed with a bladder tumor and underwent chemotherapy. I was so surprised that things were as positive and upbeat as they were, and the care was equivalent to what a human being would receive. And I was really inspired – inspired by the extra time that we can give these patients. Be it a month, be it a year, be it more than that, that extra time and the extra time to create memories together is so valuable. So I feel like every day with my patients and families, I'm giving them that gift of time, and that's why I love what I do.

Taylor: That’s amazing. And I could really feel that when I was here with Tate right before my wedding. He was in the ICU for the five days leading up to when I had to leave to go home to get married. And it was a really stressful, turbulent time in my life. And you would think that coming here would make it worse, but it made it better seeing him be here, being treated, being cared for. It gave me hope. You were really engaged with me, and I think you understood where my head was at in terms of how I wanted him to be at my wedding so badly. And I could feel that he wanted to as well.

And then I got to have, as you said, that extra time with him. And it was so meaningful, so powerful because I knew he wanted to be there because he got to say goodbye to basically every single person who ever loved him at my wedding. It was so beautiful. He walked down the aisle with my best friend from my childhood. Everyone was clapping for him. And why I'm so passionate about AMC – just because of the amazing experience that I had. I guess this is a long winded way of saying thank you. 

Dr. Rachel: Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad that you have that memory for life. He was saying goodbye to everybody that he loved, but he was also celebrating your next chapter on one of the happiest days of your life, your wedding. So I think that's just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Taylor: I was wondering if you had any funny stories about him while he was here. We all know he was really silly and sassy.

Dr. Rachel: He was very silly. But he was also very smart and very sly. He knew exactly where our treat jar was, and he knew exactly where we had our basket of stuffed toys. So when we had him up in our treatment area, he would just go and stand and stare at it and sniff the air until he got what he wanted. But he was just so full of love, and he was so sweet. And the other thing that I remember about him are his eyes, and I remember that he had such human eyes.

Taylor: Human eyes. That's what everyone would say to me. 

Dr. Rachel: He was one of a kind. I'm happy to hear that you felt so comfortable because I think that's also part of the healing process is for the patient to feel comfortable, the family to feel comfortable. And we always try to minimize the stress that's felt amongst the patients and to make them feel at home and to treat them as if they were one of ours is really important.

Taylor: Totally. Now I’d love to talk a little bit about the Buddy Fund and the impact it’s made.

Dr. Rachel: Sure! The Buddy Fund is a program that we have here at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center that provides financial assistance to clients who are in need, and the financial assistance is given to them for treatment of their pet's cancer, be it medical therapies, radiation therapy, or surgical interventions. And the treatments that we're able to give these pets can be life-saving. So if we have a patient who has a favorable prognosis and qualifies, we can give them the treatment that they need. And we're able to do so thanks to generous donations that keep the fund rolling.

Taylor: Having seen the toll treatment can take on people and their pets, I would never want to be in a situation where I had to choose between being able to afford the care and essentially a loved one's life. 

Dr. Rachel: And now pet cancer is becoming so prominent in our population because people are doing so much for the care of their pets. So they're living longer. And as a result, they're developing cancer. A lot of these cancers we can treat. But people may not be prepared for the large bill. The Buddy Fund allows those people to go ahead and get started with treatment as soon as possible.

Taylor: Such amazing work. That’s why a portion of the proceeds from our cancer collection at Tate & Taylor is going back to support the Buddy Fund. 

Dr. Rachel, thank you so much for speaking with me today, taking the time, and showing us around. It was really amazing and healing to come back here.

Dr. Rachel: Thank you so much for having me.

If you’d like to get involved with AMC or the Buddy Fund, you can learn more here. 

To support their incredible work through our F*ck Cancer collection, start shopping here. 


P.S. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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