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Man's cancer journey inspires first ever 'Therapy Dogs of Roswell Park Calendar'

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 18:30:30-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Scott Bakker was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma in May of 2017, but during his cancer journey, he had both his family and best friend Cubby.

"He lives on through Cubby,” Scott's sister Melissa Penman said.

Cubby is Scott’s 6 year old dog.

“He was the best treatment for Scott," Penman said. Scott would come home not feeling well after chemo and Cubby would climb in bed because he knew his job was to be with dad."

During Scott's battle with cancer, he spent a lot of his time at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. When he was there, he met another Sarcoma patient and together, they decided they wanted to do something beneficial for dogs. They came up with a few ideas but unfortunately, Scott was too sick to follow through on them.

“So over the summer I called Don and I said we need to keep going. We need to do this for Scott," Penman said.

So, in October, Penman, with the help of her neighbor Marcy Morgan and the gift officer at Roswell Park, Jen Trzewieczynski, created a dog calendar using the therapy dogs of Roswell park.

“Oh my gosh it was so fun," Morgan said.

“Missy came with bags and boxes of tons of different costumes and props," Trzewieczynski added. "We got to see the little personalities of each of the dogs which each was very different and unique.”

The calendars are being used to raise money for both Roswell Park and Diamond in the Ruff Animal Rescue and each calendar costs $20. So far Penman has sold more than 250 copies and has raised $6000 in Scott’s honor.

“This is our way that we can give back to him and show him we’re okay. We miss you terribly but this is our silver lining,”

Calendars bought through Facebook will benefit Diamond in the Ruff, and calendars bought through the Roswell Park website will go to Roswell.