2020 Scholarship Winner

Jamie Radake

Midwest Institute

Essay topic: Other than a love for animals, what lead you to choose veterinary technology as a career path?

2020 scholarship presentation"Other than my love of animals, it was a very handsome rescue dog that lead me to choose veterinary technology as my career path. He was an Australian Shepherd Mix, his name was Zeppelin, and he was my first rescue. I had dogs throughout my life, but they were always family pets. I adopted Zeppelin from an animal rescue, and according to them, he wasn’t very fond of females. I had already fallen in love with him though, and I was determined to adopt him. It took a while for him to come around, but something clicked with us and Zeppelin became such a mama’s boy. We really had an extraordinary bond. I had only 5 years with him, as he was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2017. The doctor thought we caught it early enough and felt a chemotherapy treatment plan could be successful in his case. After his first chemotherapy injection, he had an unbelievably bad reaction and had to be hospitalized. He bounced right back after being given fluids and other medications to treat his symptoms and he came home the next morning. For his second treatment, the doctor had adjusted the dose to prevent another reaction like that, but it didn’t help. His reaction to the second injection was far worse than the first and he was again hospitalized, this time in critical condition. While he was there, the doctor called me and asked if I’d consent to a test for a certain genetic mutation. She explained the MDR1 mutation to me and said since he was a mix, they hadn’t previously considered it. That would explain why he’s not tolerating the chemotherapy drugs and they would then alter the plan. Sadly, I lost Zeppelin later that same night.

I don’t know how Zeppelin’s last few weeks would’ve been if we had known about the MDR1 mutation or the testing for it. But the chance that he could’ve had a different outcome was enough to make me want to work in the field of veterinary technology. I want to be able to be a part of what keeps people’s fur-friends healthy and happy. Our clients need to be educated and given as much information as possible to be able to advocate for their pets. I want to be able to give both the clients and the patients comfort, even when the news isn’t great. I understand the strength of the bond between humans and animals and want a career that lets me help facilitate that bond. One of the biggest reasons for wanting this career is to be able to not only care for the patients, but to be able to support the clients as well. The clients need to be able to trust the entire team that is caring for their pets and to know they always have their pets’ best interest at heart. Many reasons have contributed to my choice of veterinary technology for my career but being able to care for all of the adorable animals every day will definitely the icing on the cake!"

Pictured: 2020 MOVTA scholarship recipient Jamie Radake with Midwest Institute's program director, Dr. Jeffrey Vemmer, and MOVTA's 2020 president, Jessica Leary, RVT.