The Stronger Gift

Janelle Phillips and Jan Elsasser asked on wedding registry to donate to oncology program at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Instead of asking for kitchenware on their wedding registry, Janelle Phillips and Jan Elsasser asked for something more dear to their hearts – donations to the oncology program at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Tucker, Elsasser and Phillips’ Corgi of six years, passed away due to Lymphoma. From this experience a bond was made between Elsasser, Phillips and the oncology department.

“Most of the wedding guests weren’t surprised about this. They know how much we cared about Tucker and all our dogs,” Elsasser said. “For us it was a matter of being blessed with good health, wonderful families, amazing friends. There isn’t a thing we could possibly need, so our direction went back to Tucker. He was so well taken care of and we thought giving back would be a longer-lasting gift.”

The couple’s passion and support for the oncology program grew from the love the veterinarians and students showed Tucker during this hard time.

“During one of Tucker’s hospital stays, Trenton Schrader, a vet student, went back to the vet school in the middle of the night when Tucker was really sick from his treatment. He felt sympathy for Tucker and knew he wouldn’t want to be alone if he was sick, so he went and sat with him,” Phillips said. 

“This level of compassion and care meant the world to us.”

“We were really hoping that encouraging donations to the oncology program could in some way help others who may have a pet battling this horrible disease,” Elsasser said. “The fact remains that we want to have long-term impacts for a program that means so much to us.”

 To support the College of Veterinary Medicine oncology fund, please click here

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