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American Hunter Jumper Foundation Assists Farrier Through Emergency Relief Fund

June 1, 2003 -- WEST BOYLSTON, Massachusetts -- The American Hunter Jumper Foundation (AHJF) recently granted Dennis Wilk, a well-respected farrier in Ohio, a $2,500 disbursement from the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund.

Forty-five year old Wilk was diagnosed last fall with Multiple Myeloma. This extremely rare form of bone marrow cancer is similar to leukemia. Although there is no cure for Multiple Myeloma, there are treatments which can send it into remission and extend life substantially -- perhaps for as long as a decade or more. Horseshoeing is a very strenuous occupation, and this disease robs its victims of all strength and energy. For this reason, and the months of aggressive chemotherapy that Dennis must undergo, it is expected that he will be unable to work for at least a year.

A longtime friend, Jeni Hren-Gaffney, D.V.M., organized a very successful silent auction and fundraiser to assist Dennis, his wife Barb and their six-year-old son, Steven. Almost $30,000 was raised as a result of the fundraiser and a bank fund! Cathy Bibbs-Cornell created a website to keep Dennis's many friends and well-wishers updated about his condition. The website also greatly enhanced the fundraising efforts. She describes Dennis as having a "wonderfully witty, magnanimous and gregarious personality, in addition to his exceptional skill as a farrier."

Dennis's wife, Barb, is overwhelmed by the support and assistance from the horse community. "We are so grateful for everything people have done for us. The magnitude of help is just incredible." she says. "And the AHJF making a disbursement to Dennis was truly the icing on the cake."

Since its establishment in 1995, the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund has become one of the most important and visible programs of the foundation. Through this program the AHJF has assisted dozens of horse people in a wide variety of situations. The Fund relies on donations for the financial support it gives to individuals and families involved in the industry. The AHJF Board reviews emergency situations which are brought to their attention, and approves distributions according to the Fund's guidelines and the particular needs of the recipient. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund to help fellow horsemen like Dennis. Call 508-835-8813 or e-mail

Article & photo by Diana De Rosa, Press Link, Your Link to the Media Email


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