Glenwood Springs pet shop owner to get cancer treatment
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Well-known local pet shop owner Beth Byerly, diagnosed less than a month ago with advanced breast and liver cancer, leaves today for four to six weeks worth of treatment in Arizona.The store that she and her partner, Laurie Raymond, have run since Valentine’s Day in 2004, High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters in West Glenwood, will be managed by friends in the pet supply business in their absence.A special account has been set up at Alpine Banks, the Beth Byerly Benefit Account, and contributions will be accepted at any of the bank’s branches to help defray the costs of dealing with the disease, according to Raymond, who spoke with the Post Independent about the matter recently.And a benefit event, the Fifth Annual Pooch Parade, will be held on May 23 at Two Rivers Park to raise money for Byerly’s treatments.”She’s doing pretty well, feeling pretty good,” Raymond said of Byerly, although she had earlier explained that Byerly did not feel up to being interviewed.Byerly, 58, had been in the education field prior to meeting up with Raymond and sharing in a decision to open up a pet shop, Raymond said.Both were devoted pet owners at the time, and Raymond said she had been in the animal care business “all my life,” which was a large part of the impetus for their business plans.”Each of us had lost a partner to cancer,” Raymond continued, “and each of us felt our animals had helped get us through it.”As she talked, a steady stream of pet owners came in the door, some stopping to chat and some alerting her to the presence of a feral cat at the door waiting to be fed.”They keep the mice down in the trailer park back there and around the neighborhood,” Raymond explained as she went out to serve the visitor.Returning to her seat and resuming the discussion, Raymond noted that “the animal community has been so supportive” since Byerly’s diagnosis.”They’ve brought food and offers of help; they’re going to cover the store while we’re gone,” she added. “They’ve just sort of surrounded us.”She said the two of them had talked about whether Byerly should pursue traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments or other, alternative treatment regimens.”The trouble is, once you’ve gone into that [traditional chemo and radiation therapies] you’re pretty much done” and must stick with it, Raymond explained.”They’ve been wonderful at Valley View [Hospital],” Raymond said, “and they have a lot of complementary programs” that offer a mix of traditional and nontraditional treatments.But Raymond and Byerly, after studying the matter and getting advice from friends and health specialists, concluded that a course of treatment at An Oasis Of Healing in Mesa, Ariz., would be a better fit for them.And, Raymond said, Byerly is hopeful that her case will “help build the body of knowledge” regarding cancer treatment.”We feel positive,” said Raymond. “We understand that it’s going to be challenging … and that there are no guarantees.”firstname.lastname@example.org
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