According to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg,
“Every day as I look out my office window, I see children and adults working hard as they learn new skills, reach milestones, and create lifelong memories in our new Al Hill Jr. Arena. Their engagement with our treasured therapy horses is beyond special.
“On Tuesday mornings, there is a young girl who receives equine assisted occupational therapy. Last Tuesday, I saw a big smile appear on her face as she leaned down and wrapped her arms around her horse, Hickory’s neck to give him a big hug. She then gave her volunteers a high-five, and proceeded to tell Hickory, ‘Walk on, please!’
“That young girl is Lyric Hawkins.
“At just 4 years old, Lyric was diagnosed with an extremely rare chromosomal disorder called 8P syndrome. 8P is characterized by significant developmental delays, intellectual impairment, and motor skill deficits.
“For two years, Lyric’s parents searched for the best treatment to help their daughter, and they finally found Equest. Since Lyric’s father served in the US Army for 23 years, Lyric qualified for our Hooves for Heroes veterans’ program, which offers equine therapies to veterans, military families and their dependents, free of charge.
“‘It is because of the Hooves for Heroes that Lyric has been able to receive this incredible treatment,’ said her mother, Traci Hawkins.
“‘Whenever I think of Lyric’s future, I think of independence, community, and friendship. I am grateful for what Equest offers her,’ said Traci. ‘The therapies do wonders, but the love that the clients feel at Equest is what truly makes a difference.’
“Our wish is that readers of My Sweet Charity give to Equest this holiday season so that our programs continue to help clients take first steps, speak first words, win first ribbons, and find peace and joy in their lives. Donate here: www.equest.org/holiday.”