Horses comfort family after difficult diagnosis

Nyla and Miles were dealing with a lot. Their parents had gotten divorced and then their mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

The Gathering Place, a non-profit organization that helps families coping with cancer, suggested the children enroll in their animal camp at Fieldstone Farm to help them heal in the company of horses and other kids facing similar circumstances.

Nyla and Miles loved the experience so much that they decided to continue on with weekly riding lessons at the farm. That was three years ago. Now Nyla and Miles are accomplished riders, trotting and cantering around the arena.

Nyla’s confidence has grown which has helped her navigate the responsibilities of being the oldest child in a single-parent household where her mom is fighting cancer. “I’ve grown and learned so much from the horses,” Nyla says.

The horses also give the children comfort. Miles says that when a horse wraps its head around him, it feels like a “nice big hug.” The people at Fieldstone have been just as important in making the children feel secure.

“The staff and volunteers have given them that motherly, aunty kind of love,” says their mother, DeVonna. Today, DeVonna’s treatments have been successful and the whole family is feeling very optimistic about a bright future…one in which horses will continue to play an active role.

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