What is FIP?
FIP is ultimately caused by a common and a largely innocuous enteric coronavirus, similar to coronaviruses causing diarrhea in humans, foals, calves and poultry. In about 10% of cats, mainly kittens, the enteric coronavirus will undergo specific mutations that allow it to escape the cells lining the lower intestine and infect the most basic cell of the immune system, the macrophage. This macrophage infection is eliminated in all but 0.3-1.4% of cats, which for unknown reasons are unable to develop the required protective immunity. The disease that occurs in this unfortunate small group of cats can clinically manifest within days, several weeks, sometimes months, and rarely a year or more. The form of disease that is manifested is referred to simply as wet (effusive) or dry (non-effusive). These two forms are easily distinguishable, although there may also be transition forms between the two. Some cats may present with signs of dry FIP but later develop wet FIP, or vice versa. Overall, about 75% of cats will present with wet FIP and 25% will present with dry FIP. Less than 5% of cats, usually those with milder forms of dry FIP to start, will survive longer than one year with the best symptomatic care.
Niels C. Pedersen, DVM, PhD
Distinguished Professor Emeritus UC Davis
Center for Companion Animal Health
Support the Fight to End FIP
The fighting force behind the fundraising efforts of Bria Fund, and the hearts behind the support groups for families going through FIP. We strive to end FIP and raise awareness and money in the hopes to find a cure. We try to connect people currently going through FIP to the experienced groups to help with emotional support through traumatic times medically and emotionally.
Total raised for FIP Research since April 30, 2020 – $761,625
Total amount spent for Bria Fund studies through April 30, 2020 – $577,967
Bria Fund Supporters News
Susan’s Farewell Message and Fundraiser
This message has been longtime coming because both COVID and the situation in our country, delayed notifying you. On March 14, 2020, before COVID happened, I notified the Winn Board that I was resigning from leading the Bria Fund for FIP Research on a day to day basis, as I had since it was officially announced by Winn’s President, Dr. Susan Little, on November 18, 2005.
When we buried Bria our precious nine month old Birman in April of 2005, I promised her that she and her brave fight with FIP would never be forgotten. I started the Bria Fund proposal the day after she died. When I sent it to Winn, I knew very little about the organization, mainly that it involved cat health and research. It turned out that Winn was a good home for what I wanted to accomplish. The Bria Fund is wildly successful, primarily because of my efforts and the availability of communication via social media. Accepting accountability, I asked little of Winn in return. I appreciated the support I received from every Executive Director I worked with, employees, and individual board members over the years. It was an honor to also be part of the Winn Board, even for a short time, and to help plan Winn’s future. At heart, I was an FIP activist, who happened to work with Winn. One person, with God’s blessing, can accomplish much!
I’m proud that significant FIP progress occurred, and I kept my promise to Angel Bria. Ending FIP itself is still paramount, but remains elusive. Despite all my efforts and those of others supporting me and the Bria Fund, FIP research dollars remain limited, there are not enough younger researchers interested in FIP, and cats continue to be treated as second class citizens when it comes to research funding. Despite Winn and the Bria Fund’s contributions to Dr. Pedersen’s feline GS441524 research, on my own, with assistance from a few of you, not Winn itself, I was unable to sway Gilead to allow it to be offered. It is time that research funders, veterinary associations, and other feline organizations take up that mantle.
Ending the Bria Fund Supporters is also bittersweet. I couldn’t possibly name all of you dear to me who supported my efforts over so many years, donating and fundraising for us. An enormous thank you to my husband Jim Shurskis, who gave up much, including his time and money to make this dream of mine come true. Also to Amy Jackson, Paige Dana and Kylie Kiel, who created and perfected the BFS’ web site and to tech savvy others willing to pitch in. Thank you Vicki Thayer for being there as my friend and supporter, always ready to help when asked, and to Anna-Lena Berg and Neils Pedersen, who taught me much. Lisa Salvaggio at Winn was an enormous help to my efforts too. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but the Bria Fund and I persevered, and friendships made will never be forgotten.
I have a new dream that I am pursuing in the political realm. But, being the consummate fundraiser, I’m asking you to donate to the Bria Fund now in appreciation of all it and I accomplished. All FIP research contributions are valuable and important, but the Bria Fund remains unique, because every cent donated to it is accounted for and stipulated only for FIP research itself, no administrative costs, plus study proposals from researchers all over the world are considered. Awarded research dollars may not be used for university overhead, because the research itself is critical. Please donate through the fundraiser on Facebook, or to the Bria Fund directly. I realize that Winn has a new name, but in my heart and memory, it will always be the Winn Feline Foundation. EveryCat Health Foundation Main Donation Form.
Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and your two and four legged family members!
Susan E Gingrich
All donations go directly to FIP studies
Total amount spent on studies through April 30, 2020 $577,967
Many pieces of the FIP puzzle are solved. We have come further in understanding and diagnosing FIP, treating it, and reached the point of some cats living with FIP as a chronic disease because of prophylactic biologicals and drugs. This includes a treatment and time will tell if this cure is permanent, but it is quite promising.
Because of two new FIP drugs from recent clinical trials, there are also cats formerly clinically diagnosed with FIP living without it for over a year. They are enjoying life as happy, normal cats. When available, these drugs will potentially help many cats with both wet and dry FIP, but they will not cure all types of FIP, such as neurological. The search for additional FIP drugs to cure this type and others is ongoing. It is the most exciting time since the Bria Fund was founded!
Please help support this important research by donating to the Bria Fund for FIP Research and encouraging family, friends, animal health professionals and cat lovers to do so too. Together, we can end FIP!
EveryCat Health Foundation, including the Bria Fund, is a public charity established to support health-related studies benefiting cats under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.