Jen Marion has rescued dozens of animals, including her Pit Bull Pearl, who became ill about six months after she and her fiance Jim Raschella adopted her.
The couple went to at least five different vets to figure out what was wrong with Pearl, and they ended up spending an estimated $16,000 on vet bills alone for the pup—money they’d originally planned on using for their honeymoon.
Jen is a second grade teacher, and when her students found out about Pearl’s illness, they set up a lemonade stand and raised $120 to help make her better.
After hearing this, Ellen DeGeneres had Jen and Jim on her show, giving them a giant lemonade stand in Pearl’s honor and $10,000 from Shutterfly check to help them pay the bills.
“Our dogs are our babies, so it was never any big decision,” Jen said about spending that much money on Pearl’s health.
The good news is that a vet found what was wrong with Pearl: She has a rare disorder called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) where the exocrine part of her pancreas had atrophied and wasn’t producing pancreatic digestive enzymes. In short, she couldn’t digest her food, so she kept losing weight.
Now Pearl is healthy and gaining weight after treatment, and Jen and Jim might get their honeymoon after all.