Gina Boxberger has been an advocate for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine for a decade. Originally from Southwest Missouri, Boxberger attended law school at Mizzou and now resides in Jefferson City. In 2010, Boxberger, a lover and long-time owner of dachshunds, brought her dog, Schnitzel, to the MU Veterinary Health Center, as he was experiencing paralysis. This initial experience with the VHC made Boxberger a patron for life. Boxberger says she won’t take her dogs anywhere else. “I’ve often said that I hope nobody has to go through what I had to go through that week, but if you do, you need to be at MU,” she said.
Boxberger’s experience with Shinichi Kanazono, who at the time was a resident in the VHC’s Neurology and Neurosurgery Service, left her impressed. It was Kanazono’s first surgery as a resident at the VHC, and Boxberger says he was extremely attentive and developed a bond with Schnitzel. “Dr. Kanazono arrived at the VHC shortly after I did at 8:45 a.m. They sent me home that day, and I received two phone calls from him before the surgery and two after the surgery, the last being at 8 p.m.,” she said. “I asked him if he had been home and he said no.”
From that point, Boxberger received two phone calls a day from the students who were working with Kanazono, which helped her feel completely comfortable with the care Schnitzel was receiving. After surgery, Schnitzel also went through physical therapy and acupuncture. “Schnitzel walked the first day out of acupuncture,” Boxberger said.
Boxberger has now found a way to give back to the CVM through volunteering to help with the Gentle Doctor Benefit, an annual event for student scholarship. Boxberger has reached out and found multiple businesses, artists, and other resources to get items donated for the benefit. She said she didn’t have any trouble getting donations, as people that have had contact with the CVM are more than willing to donate. To date, Boxberger believes she has been able to gather approximately $3,000 worth of donations for the GDB. “I was so humbled by all the people who wanted to donate, but every single one of them who did, wanted to because they feel the exact same way that I do about the university,” she said.
Boxberger has even decided to include the CVM in her estate plans. Specifically, she has decided to leave an endowment for the Barkley House, a project focusing on providing temporary housing for families and their pets while they are receiving treatment at Mizzou. “I just decided that the CVM is where my heart has been for the last 10 years, so I knew I wanted to set up an endowment and be specific towards Barkley House,” she said. “I was so lucky that I was able to visit Schnitzel every night, and I knew that there were others that would not have that opportunity. That’s why I wanted my fund to go to Barkley House.”
All of these factors have contributed to Boxberger being such a strong advocate of the CVM. She expressed what made the CVM special to her. “It was the absolute caring and dedication to the patients. It was above and beyond anything that I had experienced before. It was way beyond professional care and schooling.”
By Nick Childress