With the help of this fundraising platform over the last year I was able to fundraise $8000 dollars for a saddle to fix a horrble problem with my horse's back, fix a unsafe horse trailer, and start a dream of endurance riding.
This was last years story:
Merlin and I have been training with 10 to 17-mile rides a few times a week, and in mid-November 2013 we had the crazy idea to enter our first endurance race. We placed 40th... but we finished!
But then..... there came crushing news for me and my horse and our plans to do 30-50-75-100-mile rides over the next few months, preparing to become the first Stage 4 cancer endurance team to complete a 100-mile race. Yesterday, I found saddle scars caused by Merlin's saddle putting too much pressure on a single spot, which resulted in blood loss to the area. This made the hair turn white, and may have resulted in muscular loss and damage to the connective tissue around the spine. This condition can really injure a horse if left unchecked.
Merlin was a cheap horse that my friend bought off Craigslist to provide company for her other horse. His background is unknown, only that his previous owner could not afford to keep him. He was frightened of many things and acted like everyone was out to beat him. He needed help, he was scared and broken, and we discovered one rainy day last year that we needed each other.
My goal is still to take our story of my second year of fighting Stage 4 cancer out into the public eye... to tell a story of love and hope, courage, trust, and the teamwork of two unlikely friends that found that endurance is our strongest connection. I want to do this year "strong", by riding several endurance races this year... to do something besides just staying alive... to live! One long-term goal is to take my story to different young adult cancer groups... to show others in my situation that "getting out" and kicking your cancer's butt is sometimes the best medicine.
The name of this fundraiser 6 Months, 2 Years was created because if medical diagnoses were always correct, I would be dead or close to it. 6 months to 2 years is what Stage 4 patients get to read about and hear in all the books and from their doctors - the amount of time that they could have left to live.
Completing these endurance races is the challenge that I took on last year, and I won, endured, and rode on.
This new year in my life I'll keep riding, share this story to as many people I can get to listen who need to here it. I will keep my endurance for many more years!
Merlin - a previously-abused horse, and me - a crazy cancer survivor, have something to prove to ourselves. When the odds say you should be broken, find something that gets you racing in life! I could just give up, and let my medication, surgeries, or the pain take over. That is very easily done.
With everyone's help and encouragement, this fundraiser will help pay Medical bills, treatments, and surgeries will be always there...... but being able to live past the 2-year mark and achieve these goals will be indescribable. :)
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- Kerri Holland
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