The Willem Wijnberg Cancer Fundraiser 2015

Runs February 22nd to... UNTIL WE HIT OUR GOAL OF $25,000

The drawing for prizes will take place on Sunday, June 7th

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Items #A1 to #A32 on the first page of this Very Special Fundraiser were created and donated by Willem Wijnberg, a very talented artist from the Netherlands. For the past twelve years, Willem has made and donated all of the items for our Willem Wijnberg Cancer Fundraisers.

Since 2003, Berner Lovers has raised $233,574 for cancer research for Berners. The AKC CHF has made matches of $263,062 to the Berner-Lovers' fund for a total raised for cancer research of $496,606!!

THANK YOU WILLEM, for your dedication to the breed and for helping raise so much money to defeat cancer in Berners.

To see more of Willem's work and past contributions to Fundraisers to fight cancer:
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A Very, Very Special Fundraiser!

This year our fundraiser is going to raise money for Dr. Matthew Breen, researcher from North Carolina State University. Dr. Breen has been doing research on histiocytic sarcoma (formerly called malignant histiocytosis, or "Histio") and lymphoma, concentrating on these diseases in Bernese Mountain Dogs. He has made great strides in his research and is ready to move on to the next level of his research. He estimates that the cost of the research will be $45,000 and has already raised $20,000 for the research. My goal is to raise the additional $25,000 through our 2015 Willem Wijnberg Cacner Fundraiser so that he can continue his research. Any money we raise above that amount will be used to reduce the cost of the assay to Berner Lovers when the testing is done on their Berners. It is so exciting to see the research resulting in something that will be used to help diagnose cancers accurately in Berners so that they can get the proper treatment to extend their lives. It is so sad to discover that some Berners are mis-diagnosed with Histio, when their cancer was actually lymphoma and they could have been properly treated for lymphoma, giving them a longer life. Let's make this a fantastic fundraiser and raise the $25,000 needed to help our Berners by supporting this research. Here is the information about the research that Dr. Breen will be doing.

Title: Diagnosis of canine histiocytic malignancies using microfluidic assessment of tumor specific DNA copy number.

Principal Investigator: Matthew Breen


Accurate diagnosis of an histiocytic malignancy (HM) currently requires a tumor biopsy to be evaluated first by routine histopathology and then again following specialized immunohistochemistry (IHC). The use of appropriate IHC is considered the ‘gold standard’ to confirm a diagnosis in most cases. Unfortunately, this form of analysis is not always readily available in routine pathology laboratories, is time consuming (generally 7-14 days), costly (>$150) to the client and requires a specialized skill set (veterinary pathologist interpretation). In the absence of rigorous IHC, the strong association between Berners and HMs has resulted in this cancer being suggested as the most likely diagnosis, due to the breed of the patient. As a result Berners with lymphoma have been misdiagnosed with an HM. Presently there are no assays available in the veterinary field that are able to confirm the diagnosis of HMs within 72hrs and do so at a price point acceptable to most pet owners. Our research has been directed towards meeting this need.


As part of our ongoing commitment to helping the Berner we have developed a rapid assay that separates lymphomas and HMs with >97% sensitivity and >97% specificity. With just a small DNA sample from the tumor specimen, the technology uses microfluidics and highly specific analytes to perform 20,000 measurements and simultaneously determine the number of copies per cell of the specific DNA segments assessed. The assay, which currently may be run on a single sample, or up to 96 samples simultaneously, uses a closed, automated system and is completed within six hours. Turn around time from receipt of biopsy/fine needle aspirate to delivery of results is generally 24 hours. In its present form this new discriminatory assay is faster and less costly than any other assay in the market designed to differentiate HMs and lymphoma.

Next steps

To add broader value to this new assay we are now gathering additional data to determine the true diagnostic potential for HM. To do so we are assessing the power of our assay to separate HMs from the other round cell canine neoplasms (plasmocytoma, transmissible venereal tumors, mast cell tumors) as well as other cancers diagnosed in the same anatomical locations as HMs (e.g. hemangiosarcoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma). Pilot data for this study assessed the use of our assay to screen 10 cases of each of the cancers stated above. Our assay did not result in a diagnosis of an HM in any of these additional cancers. We will now use our assay to assess a large collection of each of the cancers listed above (100 cases each) as well as 100 more HMs. These data will provide highly accurate sensitivity and specificity values for the use of this new, cost-effective and rapid assay to provide a diagnosis of an HM Any funds that remain after the assay has been validated will be used to help pay towards the cost of the assay for Berners with suspected HM

For further information about this research study
<click here>

Bernese Mountain Dogs are truly blessed to have Dr. Matthew Breen working to help extend their lifespan and to research ways to eliminate the horrible cancers that affect their lives. This following article was published at North Carolina State University and I wanted to share it with everyone so they could see exactly who Dr. Matthew Breen is and why we are so lucky to have him working on our side to fight cancer in our Berners.
<click here>

Ticket prices are:

Tier One
$5 each,
or 4 for $10,
or 10 for $20.
Tier Two
$1 each,
or 8 for $5,
or 20 for $10.
Tier Three
$5 each,
or 4 for $10,
or 10 for $20.

Make ALL checks/cheques payable to: Joye M. Neff

Please include the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • E-Mail Address
  • number of tickets you wish to purchase for each item(s)
    (PLEASE include item #s and description!)
Send to:
Joye Neff
1182 Firwood Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15243-1825

** I can accept foreign cheques with no additional fees to convert the funds to US dollars as long as they are under $100, so if you are going to send more than $100, please break it into smaller cheques so none are over $100."   .

Please give generously knowing you have a chance to win one of these beautiful items


1) I have a Challenge from generous Berner Lovers who are making this challenge to people who have never made a donation to one of our fundraisers. They will match your donations up to $300 in loving memory of Hanna, if you are making your first donation to one of our fundraisers. When you send your check, be sure to tell me that you are a new donor, so I can track our donations and we can get their donation of $300. I know that we can raise $300 from new donors which will give us the additional $300 to our fundraiser.

2) I have a Challenge from Peggy Rickenbach in loving memory of Zeke, Streaking Man of Steel, for our 2015 Cancer Fundraiser. Peggy has made a very generous donation to the cancer fundraiser and has asked me to use her tickets to spur on more donations to help us hit our goal of raising $25,000 for Dr. Matthew Breen for his research on histiocytic sarcoma and lymophoma in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Anyone who makes a donation of $25 or more will receive 6 FREE TIER ONE TICKETS! Now is the time to send in your donations so you can take advantage of these FREE Tickets in the Challenge.

3) NEW CHALLENGE Wendy Djang from North Carolina is challenging Berner Lovers from NC – she will match all donations from people who live in NC up to a total of $300

4) NEW CLUB CHALLENGES: The Kentuckiana BMD Club, The BMD Club of Canada, and the BMD Club of Greater Seattle have all made donations to the cancer fundraiser and have challenged the other regional and national clubs to make donations also. Please ask your club to make a donation to support this research project

5) AmTote has made a very generous donation of $1,000 and from today until their tickets are used up, they will double anyone's tickets who makes a donation of $30 or more. THANK YOU to Linda Lankester and Steve Keech for making this challenge possible!!

6) A very generous California donor has challenged all California Berner Loves. All checks to the 2015 Willem Wijnberg Cancer Fundraiser by California donors will be matched up to a total of $500 if they are dated May 18, 2015 or later. Come on Californians - send in those checks so we can get an additional $500 donation!!.

THANKS to our generous challenge donors.


WE DID IT!! We surpassed our goal of $25,000 and raised $28,107.44 for Dr. Breen's cancer research to benefit Bernese Mountain Dogs.

I know that this is what you have been waiting for today -


Page A, Tier One

Tickets are

$5 each,

or 4 for $10,

or 10 for $20.

Item #A1

First Prize!

A blank canvas.

Willem will make a painting

of the winner's dog

Winner: Erika Rankin..

Item #A2

Painting of Cheryl Thornton's

Annika and Elin

"We are so happy!"

Winner: Cheryl Thornton

Item #A3

Painting of Marion Brown's Hamisch

who died too soon!

Winner: Renee Meriaux

Item #A4

Joye Neff's

"Nicky in the Garden"

Winner: Mary Anderson

Item #A5

Kristi Davis' dog,

"Bailey likes the Flowers"

Winner: Kristi Davis

Item #A6

Painting of

Kristi and Ron Davis' McKinley

Winner: Kristi Davis

Item #A7

Painting of

Jane Heggen's Freckles

Winner: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada

Item #A8

Kristi Davis' McKinnley

likes the Flowers

Winner: Kristi Davis

Item #A9

Jean Cheesman's Samson says

"But, Mom, I am so hungry!"

Winner: Jean Cheesman

Item #A10

Karen Connors' Simone
enjoying the autumn leaves

Winner: Kentuckiana Bernese Mountain Dog Club

Item #A11

Photograph of

Hans de Ruyter's Senna

Winner: Sheira Freedman

Item #A12

Joye Neff's Breeze
loves the flowers

Winner: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada

Item #A13

Jo Peters' Sultan
in the bushes

Winner: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada

Item #A14

Jaime de Haas' Misha and brother Stockard
playing in the snow

Winner: Joan Meyers

Item #A15

Traci Frank's Zuri
in the mountains

Winner: Sheira Freedman

Item #A16

Jaime de Haas' Stockard!

Winner: Sheira Freedman

Item #A17

Howard's BARC dog

Winner: Julie Fruege-Greco

Item #A18

Jaime de Haas' Bromley and Stockard

Winner: Dot Decker

Item #A19

Patt Wiegand's dogs, Oscar and Mooch
enjoying the sunset!

Winner: Patt Wiegand

Item #A20

Jaime de Haas' Stockard

Winner: Sheira Freedman.

Item #A21

Maria Crifasi's Justin
looking nice

Winner: Potomac Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club

Item #A22

Jaime de Haas' beautiful dog
Stockard in the flowers

Winner: Sheira Freedman

Item #A23

Fly tying American flag

Winner: Sheira Freedman


Item #A24

Fly tying American flag

Winner: Marsha Schaublin


Item #A25

Fly tying American flag

Winner: Marsha Schaublin


Item #A26

Very rare Bernese stamp

Winner: Maureen Greaves

Item #A27

Big Ostrich egg

Cheeta says "Mom I love you so much"

Winner: Louise Tucker

Item #A28

Painted Swan egg

Winner: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America
(will be a prize at the 2016 Specialty Auction or Raffle)

Item #A29

Painted Swan egg

Winner: Pam Swearingen

Item #A30

Painted Swan egg

Winner: Georgie Clegg

Item #A31

Painted Swan egg

Winner: Broken in shipment from The Nethlerlands

Item #A32

Painted Swan egg

Winner: Lisa Baldwin

Item #A33

CALIFORNIA OLD GOLD COUNTRY GETAWAY~! A generous Berner Lover has offered a wonderful prize for our 2015 Cancer Fundraiser - the use of her “Guesthouse” about nine miles outside of Nevada City, CA for up to a week. The property is on a couple of forested acres with great hiking, biking, and resting and just an hour drive from Tahoe, Roseville or Sacramento. The Guesthouse sleeps two on a pull out couch in the living room and two on a queen in the Loft. It has a full bathroom and kitchen. There is a deck and a garage, plus the added bonus of the company of two loving Bernese in the main house. You can even bring your own well-behaved, neutered, non-aggressive dogs with you on your Getaway. You will enjoy the lovely city of Nevada City and Grass Valley with historic downtowns and many artists and musicians around the Yuba River area. The winner and the owner will work out the details of the Getaway.

Donated by an Anonymous Berner Lover

Winner: Paula Murison

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Item #A34

Linda Lancaster has donated a $100 gift card to the spa of the winner’s choice

Winner: JoAnn Boehm.

Item #A35

Linda Lancaster’s husband, Steve Keech, has donated a brand new Android Tablet to the Cancer Fundraiser

Winner: Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley.


This year we have many more wonderful donations, with many thanks to all the wonderful people who have contributed here to help our Berners fight this disease with this very special fundraiser!

Click here for the next page Items #B1-50

Page B cont. and items #B51-->

Page C and a Very Special Prize from Dr. Breen

And here is a very special picture,

Willem at work on Amika's painting
for our Angel Pin Lady, Karen Connors,
We love you!!!!!

For the Histio Roll Call of just some of our Berners lost to this cancer
and why your donations are so very important!

For further information on all aspects of canine cancer care

E-Mail Joye

Take me back to the top please

All materials on this site copyright © 2002 by Joye Neff - All rights reserved.
Page design by Karen Pickel
Web space and page content by Jean Cheesman