Michele Elek & Miles

Meet Miles.  When Miles was about 2 months old he was brought into a local Veterinary office in Arizona by a couple of good samaritans.  The doctors in the back of the office could hear his screams of pain and ran out and immediately administered pain relief and a sedative.  They could see that his two front legs were broken and one was wrapped with a home-made coat hanger and gauze.  After further examination, the doctors noticed that the breeder/owner attempted to repair the lacerations with a needle and thread and glue which created more pain and infection for his wounds that had been untreated for days.  The Phoenix New Times later reported that the breeder/owner, Lyman Kenneth Morkunas, allegedly bragged to the good samaritan couple about beating Miles with a 16 pound sledge hammer to break a fight up between an adult dog and 2 month old Miles.  As of this blog post, it is unknown what, if any charges are pending against him in Maricopa County.

Miles Bandage Change

Miles was in such terrible shape with multiple fractures, shattered bones, and infection that the doctors considered euthanasia.   They contacted Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary (PAWS),  a nonprofit organization founded by veteranarian Dr. Eva Decozio-Bush and Michele Elek to see if they could take him under their wings, which they did.  They immediately started putting together a plan to help Miles.  The specialized surgeries needed to save his legs were going to cost $5,000.  PAWS was able to get him featured on local news stations and through the amazing support of the community, the money was raised.  Following multiple surgeries, the surgeons were able to save one of his legs, but determined that it was in Miles’ best interest to amputate his left leg to minimize long term complications and improve his quality of life.


Hearing the news of Miles’ amputation, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, the company behind the prosthetic in the inspiring Dolphin Tale movie, reached out to PAWS and offered to create and donate a prosthetic for Miles.  Thomas, a Certified Patient Advocate at Hanger, working closely with Miles and an amputee himself, asked PAWS if he could be involved in Miles’ adoption process.  Since Miles was a puppy, he would be needing modifications to his prosthetic as he grew and Thomas wanted to make sure his new home was a good fit for his needs.  Thomas had also grown quite close to Miles during their time together.


Adoption Day Miles & Michele

It was finally adoption day for Miles and he headed back to the local news stations. Most hadn’t seen him since his original visit to ask for help to pay for his surgeries and were excited to have him back to announce that he was ready for adoption.  Dr. Eva and Michele from PAWS were ready and waiting for the phones to start ringing off the hook, yet they were silent.  They called each other to see if their phones were working and they were.  There were so many people interested in Miles when he was first on television and they couldn’t understand the silence.  “Was it because the camera panned to him when he was licking himself?” they joked.  That’s when the big light bulb went off and Michele called Thomas from Hanger to tell him.  “We didn’t get one call Thomas.  You know what that means, don’t you?  He’s supposed to be with you, Thomas.”  Thomas agreed that Miles belonged with him.  Thomas had fallen quite in love with Miles over the course of his evaluations and fittings and knew was meant to be with him.

Miles & Thomas

Miles adoption to Thomas is now official!  To make this new beginning even better…….Miles is now being trained as a therapy dog so he can go to work every day with Thomas to help and inspire other amputees.




Disclosure:  I recently joined Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary as a member of their Board.

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During my grandfather’s cancer treatment eighteen months ago, I became aware of the nonprofit organization, Be The Match.  It amazed me at how easy it is to get on the registry and become a bone marrow donor.  Donating bone marrow to someone in need can save their life and Be The Match successfully does this with 4,800 out of the 10,000 people that need transplants annually. My grandfather didn’t end up needing to use Be The Match for his donation, but I learned how important it was to get on the registry wanted to get involved to potentially help to save a life.

Be The Match is led by the National Bone Marrow Donor Program and assists people with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, or any other disease that need bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplants.  Founded by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr. and his wife 25 years ago after losing their son to lymphoma, they have successfully found new ways of improving the bone marrow donation process.  They have been able to find donors for almost half of the people who annually need this donation and their mission is to fulfill every needed transplant.  In addition to obtaining donors, an important aspect of Be The Match’s mission is to raise awareness for this cause.  Over the years, they have found new and painless ways of performing bone marrow transplants and want the public to know that it doesn’t cause the pain it once did.  There are many myths associated with bone marrow donation that Be The Match aims to bust.  All that is required is your time and you could save a life.

How does it work?  It’s simple.  Register with your information and answer a few questions about your basic health.  After this is complete, Be The Match will send you the registration kit for you to swab the inside of your cheek and send the kit back to them.  Once this is done, they will add you to the registry to determine if you are a match for anyone in need of a donation.  Be The Match covers the $100 fee that it costs to register new donors, but financial donations are very much appreciated to help with this expense.

Be The Match saves thousands of life’s every year due to the time and work they have put forth for 25 years.  For them to continue to save lives and make an impact on the future, become a donor and save someone’s life.  REGISTER NOW and take a little time out of your day to change a persons life forever. If you’re not already convinced, maybe Caden’s story can convince you to get on the registry!  Caden’s story is just one of the many life-saving stories…..

by Connor Jaynes Connor Jaynes is a student at W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and is studying Business Sustainability.  

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Give to Get Jobs: Give Back AND Get Paid!

I recently became aware of Give to Get Jobs when I received a tweet notifying me that Broker for Charity had been listed in their social enterprise database.  After checking out their database, I was impressed that they had compiled a list of over 1300 social enterprises and was thrilled to see so many new […]

Read the full article → January 17, 2012

Causecast Incorporates Three of My Favorites: Business, Nonprofit, and Fun!

When Brokers for Charity first launched, I began seeing cause related companies and movements everywhere.  It was like there was a whole world that I hadn’t noticed before.  I wondered if it had to do with the “car phenomenon” … where you buy a particular model and suddenly you see it everywhere.  Was it simply […]

Read the full article → September 13, 2011

Yelling at Craig Newmark of Craigslist From the Cheap Seats. Really People?

Yesterday, I was reminded of a Dodger game I went to when I was about ten years old.  As a tomboy playing baseball at the time, I took the game very seriously.  So, when the guy next to me was screaming at Steve Garvey about his wife cheating on him, or leaving, or something, I […]

Read the full article → July 11, 2011

Playing for Change – Changing the World Through Music

A few years back, I remember seeing a viral video of a group of musicians performing “Stand by Me.” It was one of those rare moments that you feel something grab you, take you in, and you lose all sense of anything or anyone around you. As moving as this performance is, the story behind […]

Read the full article → June 27, 2011

Jason Kidd Not Only Wins With The Mavericks, He Wins With The Kids.

Watching the NBA playoffs this week, I was reminded about an article I read a few years back about Jason Kidd. The article by AZcentral.com was about Jason purchasing a new home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  Or was it?  I remember having mixed feelings and being a little confused on the purpose after reading it.  […]

Read the full article → June 19, 2011

The Spark: Combining Real Estate and Giving To Nonprofit Organizations

If you see me at the grocery store, you will more often see me talking to myself rather than shopping for salad dressing.  “Ok, I need this and what about this and, oh that’s right, don’t forget, you can’t forget this time…” ..you know… Add to the tornado of thoughts the addition of something I don’t […]

Read the full article → June 13, 2011
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