When veterinarians at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine began treating 7-year old Scout last year, they could never have imagined their efforts would land them a $6 million ad spot during Super Bowl LIV.
Scout’s human dad is David MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech, a manufacturer of automotive accessories and home and pet care products and Scout famously starred in the company’s 2019 Super Bowl ad.
But, last July, Scout collapsed. His family rushed him to a veterinarian where an ultrasound revealed a tumor on his heart and hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the blood vessel walls. The following day, MacNeil brought Scout to UW’s School of Veterinary Medicine as an emergency walk-in patient where a team of veterinarians and clinicians immediately sprung into action. Despite a 1% chance of survival he’d initially been given, Scout not only survived, but is thriving.
This Sunday, during the second half of the Super Bowl, viewers will get to know a little bit more about Scout and the incredible work of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
“Scout’s illness devastated us,” says MacNeil. “We wanted this year’s Super Bowl effort to not only raise awareness, but also financial support for the incredible research and innovative treatments happening at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where Scout is still a patient. We wanted to use the biggest stage possible to highlight Scout’s story and these incredible breakthroughs, which are not just limited to helping dogs and pets. This research will help advance cancer treatments for humans as well, so there’s the potential to save millions of lives of all species.”
You can watch the commercial a few days early, right here:
In July, scout began chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy targeting his heart tumor. He also received immunotherapy aimed at stimulating his immune system to attack cells expressing specific tumor proteins. Only one month later, Scout and his family received good news—his tumor had decreased in size by 78%. By September, the tumor was 90% smaller than its original size. Today, Scout’s heart tumor has all but disappeared.
Super Bowl LIV airs Sunday, Feb. 2 on FOX, Scout will appear alongside members of the school’s faculty and staff who have been part of the 7-year-old golden retriever’s cancer treatment journey.
Funds raised by the Super Bowl commercial will be used to support research at the School of Veterinary Medicine to better diagnose, treat and prevent cancer and for the purchase of specialized equipment that will aid clinicians and researchers in identifying new cancer-fighting drugs and treatments — discoveries that are shared with the world.