Our Name Sake:
Like many little girls, Hope has always had a passion for horses. When asked why she loves horses she stated, “I love horses because they are majestic and beautiful animals with free spirits. They are calming to watch and you can feel their emotions when you pet them.” She collects Breyer horses, draws pictures of horses, and watches horse races on TV and dreams of one day being a jockey. Hope is a beautiful girl inside and out. Her smile and laughter are contagious. You would never know she has had a few challenges in her life. She was born blind in her right eye and at 10 months old she had heart surgery for a heart defect. In 2011 she was diagnosed with Hajdu-Cheney Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder. The connective tissue is a strong fibrous tissue that supports and joins other body tissues and parts. The ailment can lead to abnormal development of bones and joints, as well as a decrease in bone mass and changes in the skull and jawbone. Her prognosis all depends on her body; there is no cure for HCS so doctors continue to treat her symptoms.
In 2012, when given a chance for a wish to come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Kentucky Derby was a natural destination for Hope. While there, Hope and her family befriended horse trainer Doug O’Neill and his team whose colt “I’ll Have Another” ended up winning the Derby. Anyone who has watched a horse race knows that sometimes, against all odds, out comes a winner!
Hope has gone through numerous surgeries over the years for her symptoms. In 2009 she had a corrective lens implanted. Other surgeries were performed to relieve the pain from her symptoms not knowing if they would guarantee success. She is often left wheel-chair bound. She has spells when she loses feeling in her limbs for hours at a time. Although she may feel pain, she never shows it. In 2013 her classmates decided to help Hope with another dream of hers. They decided to get Hope her very own horse and started “A Horse for Hope” campaign.
As her name implies…. “Hope” is what she gives us and we are eternally grateful.
When the World says give up, Hope whispers, try it one more time.