Diagnosed with PTSD and several other mental and physical health issues, it was recommended by his doctor that he get a service dog. Pain from injuries led to opiate addiction and eventually a suicide attempt. It was his service dog, Phoenix, that saved his life. Had Phoenix not been there to intervene, Jt would be one of the 22 veterans that take their own lives every day.
Jt has completely turned his life around and is a Veterans Program Coordinator and Peer Specialist at a recovery center in Wisconsin. His life experience now helps other veterans with issues like depression and addiction.
Phoenix started to display signs he was not feeling well in December of 2019 and after many tests, including an MRI, it was discovered he had a brain tumor. Jt started looking for help immediately and The Brodie Fund was just one of many organizations he reached out to. The Brodie Fund only works within a specific network of veterinary hospitals, so we do not exhaust funding. Due to the size of the grants, it is necessary to grow at a pace that is sustainable based on donations.
After reading the email and eventually speaking to Jt, we knew we needed to help. This is a very special man and clearly a very special dog. Jt sacrificed so much for our country, his life was then saved by Phoenix and now Phoenix needed Jt to fight for his.
All of us at The Brodie Fund worked very quickly, as time was of the essence, to get Phoenix the treatment he needed at The University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital. Radiation is the recommended course of treatment and we knew we would need help with the grant as it’s quite expensive. We immediately reached out to an organization we had worked with before in hopes they would feel the same way about Jt and Phoenix.
The amazing Marisol Thomas and her nonprofit Sidewalk Angels Foundation agreed straight away to help. By partnering, we were able to fund Phoenix’s radiation treatment. Partnerships like these make a huge difference. Sadly, Phoenix passed away on February 13th.
As for The Brodie Fund, we are so very excited to announce a new addition to our funding called Brodie’s Phoenix Fund in memory of Jt’s service dog Phoenix. This new fund will be strictly for helping veterans that have pets diagnosed with cancer.