Shawneesunrisefarm.net - Full Story
Posted on December 17, 2014 by Keith Kibler
SOMETIMES LIFE DEMANDS that you refocus.
My wife Sandy and I love the sport of endurance riding. We train and compete gaited horses, and endurance has been an
important part of our empty nest years. We both compete mainly at the 50-mile distance but she does some LDs and I compete in some 100s. Sandy has a long list of autoimmune disorders that would leave most grandmas at home in the recliner.
In September of 2013, I came into a vet check in a 100 and she was sitting in a chair with a bloody rag on her head. She had fallen and hit her head while walking her Missouri Fox Trotter, Samba, who had been pulled with a lameness issue.
A couple of months later, we found out that Samba had EPM. It became so bad that you could push on the horse’s hip and it would almost knock her down. Samba had also lost hundreds of pounds and no amount of feed and hay would put weight back on her.
Sandy fell again a month later on a bluff overlook in the Shawnee National Forest. After that, she was diagnosed with an ultrarare autoimmune disorder called Stiff Limb Syndrome. She is one of 400 people in the
world with that diagnosis. She was put on once-monthly immunoglobulin IVs. We treated her horse and we treated her.
Cancer tends to run with this strange disorder and Sandy was found to have liver cancer too. Her medical team took out the cancer and part of her liver in February of this year. For a month she lived and slept in a recliner next to our bed. Sandy dreamed of getting outside and riding a horse again. I kept treating the horse and then training the horse with the help of friends.
In April, several of my friends and I put Sandy on the tailgate of a pickup truck and we helped her carefully onto a horse for the first time since that fall in October. She refused to give up, and neither did the rest of us...
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