RIP Simba

Willem's beloved Newfoundland

Newfie Simba


Newfoundland Simba in the Snow

Simba in the Snow

15th July 2002 - "The reason I send you this email is that when I read your story about your beloved Sam, it was almost as if I read my own story about my Simba, who was a Newfoundland.

About a year ago she got bone cancer in her left leg and I did everything that was possible to save her. She had 6 times Chemo with Carboplatin and three times Radiation that only can be done in Paris, a drive by car to go and came back to my house from 1260 Km. For the Chemo I found the best vet in the Netherlands but to go and come back we also had to drive 600 Km. All in all we have driven more then 7000km .

The cancer was only in her left leg, the vet took a lot of x-rays but could not find any spread to the rest of her body and the chemo and the radiation did a lot of good work. Every time after a chemo treatment or a radiation two weeks later he took new x-rays and you could see that the cancer each time was smaller and smaller. New bone was even growing on places where the cancer had made holes in her leg. We were all, even the vet, very happy. The cancer lump was now only 1 cm big {it was 7 cm at first}

Then the vet advised to do an operation to take away the last part of the lump from the cancer. Simba was very good all the time, she was happy and did not have much trouble with the chemo. After a treatment she would eat less then normal for just a few days and from the radiation she did not have any trouble at all. We decided that 14 days after her last chemo the vet would do the operation.

But 8 days before the operation Simba got a very high fever, 41.8 Celcius, 42 Celsius is deadly. With antibiotics for 5 days we stopped the fever but two days before the operation I discovered small lumps on other parts of her leg. After a biopsy of the small lumps I got the results that the cancer had spread and the vet told me that he could not operate now. First we must try to kill the spread with more chemo.

Two days later Simba started having problems breathing and the fever came back again. I think the cancer had also spread to her lungs and she refused to eat. She did not fight anymore and gave up the battle. On the afternoon of 16 February we gave her the rest she had earned.

Her name, Simba, which in Swahili is Lion, means she fought for 8 and a half months like a Lion against an enemy she could never conquer, but she will always be in my heart and I miss her very much....."


Willem painted the above portrait of a beautiful Newfoundland in loving memory of Simba.

It was commissioned for the Newfoundland Health Challenge, they have sold it on the Newfoundland Grand National show .Willem has donated that money in the name of his beloved Simba to an institute doing research to find new medication against cancer.

For more of Willem's paintings
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