Los Angeles nonprofit helps families struggling to pay for dogs' cancer treatment

Miranda’s People is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are financially unable to pay for their dog's cancer treatment.

The nonprofit was founded on the principle that no family should have to lose their fur baby just because they can’t afford the cost of cancer treatment.

Noreen Berra recalls when her dog, Miranda, had a tumor wrapped around a bone in her leg and being told by a veterinarian that nothing could be done. 

"She was six years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. It was a surprise to us entirely," said Noreen Berra, Founder and President of Miranda's People.

She had radiation therapy, there was a 70% chance that it would cure the cancer, but it did not. Eventually, when the cancer came back, they amputated Miranda's leg. Despite all this, Miranda lived almost 4 years after her cancer diagnosis.

"She lived to be over 10 and that's phenomenal for a dog that has cancer now that's the happy story. I wouldn't have done anything differently, because she was our daughter," said Berra.

Financially though, it devastated them. They did not have pet insurance and spent well over $40,000 for treatment. 

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"I highly recommend as soon as you get a dog you get pet insurance, especially if you're going to get dogs like golden retrievers. There are certain dogs that are very susceptible to cancer and golden retrievers are one of them," Berra explained.

Miranda's cancer journey motivated Noreen to start Miranda's People.

"It broke my heart, I thought it's not right. No person should ever lose their dog because they don't have the money to pay for medical treatment," she said. 

Miranda's People provides grants to people if they qualify.

"We’re not going to give a grant to somebody who could otherwise pay for it," said Berra.

The nonprofit has a free comprehensive website. 

"It takes hours and hours of going every place to try to find the information, so on our website, we tried to create a website where you could go and answer some of those preliminary questions and also research. We have a list of over 60 some odd cancers," Berra explained.