The Journey . . .
On February 7th, 2007 four local women left Abbeville, South Carolina to begin the journey of a life time. Two of the women, Edie New and Andi Mills, have sisters who have suffered from strokes. They are riding their horses, Whiskey and Jericho, across the United States to raise stroke awareness and to help educate people to the importance of early detection of strokes.
Marla McKinney and Wanda Paradice began the trip as the two woman support crew. Wanda left the group in Yucca Valley, California, leaving Marla to act as a support crew of one. Marla stepped up to the plate, knowing that the success of the trip would ride squarely on her shoulders. She wears many hats and wears them all well. Marla goes ahead of the group and scouts out campsites, drives the RV, and has to ride as a blocker, on her Harley Davidson in order to protect the riders from traffic when they have to ride in dangerous areas on the highway. She sets up the portable corrals for the horses and cooks supper for the hungry and tired riders when they come in. She does many other necessary things too numerous to mention and is an invaluable member of the team. She is truly the glue that binds the team together.
At the time of this writing, the Carolina Trekkers have completed over five hundred miles of their journey and are in the high country of Arizona. Ariat International, Inc., (www.ariat.com)
, the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, has partnered with the Trekkers in their endeavor to spread awareness and promote early detection of strokes. Ariat outfitted the team with a new pair of boots and is helping to get out press releases to help promote the cause.
The Sisters, the Reason for the Journey…
Andi’s sister, Mary, is a nurse. She was immediately aware of the fact that she was having a stroke and was able to get immediate medical attention. She was able to return to work within six weeks and will continue to be a productive member of society. She suffers weakness in her left arm and hand, suffers from weakness in her left leg and has lost some control over the use of her left foot. Seconds count when a stroke occurs. Mary has had to cut down on stressors in her life, both at work and in her personal life. She has recently moved to South Carolina in order to be closer to her family. Mary is one of the very fortunate ones. She lives a relatively normal life with few limitations. She walks regularly, does some running and quit smoking after 22 years. She no longer pushes herself beyond her limits of endurance, and has a new perspective on life.
Edie’s sister, on the other hand, was only 37 and was an athlete. They weren’t looking for a stroke in someone that age, especially someone who was athletic. Julie had previously gone to college on a basketball scholarship and played on a traveling softball team. She was highly involved coaching the Special Olympics. When Julie suffered her first stroke, a significant amount of time passed before she was diagnosed. Because of this, the damage caused as a result of her stroke was more severe than it would have been if she had been diagnosed earlier. Two years later, Julie suffered two more strokes; however, she was immediately diagnosed. Because of that fact, any additional damage was minimized. She suffers from severe paralysis in both her left arm and leg. She will never be able to work a regular job. Julie raises chickens, is an animal lover and does work that she is able to do at her home. Although both Mary and Julie have suffered from strokes, the results have been very different. They are both wonderful women and are a great inspiration to all who know them.
site design by Network Carolina, Inc.
Our mission is to educate people on the value of the early detection of strokes. We are self funded and appreciate any donations helping our cause.
Even the smallest private contribution helps us accomplish our goal.
if you have suffered from a stroke and need help with rehabilitation, contact the American Stroke Foundation
Thanks to Ariat. They donated each of us a new pair of riding boots have teamed with our cause by providing publicity.
Thanks to Miracle Hoof Oil. They donated 5 cans of their hoof oil.
Thanks to TMI,Inc and Tommy Taylor for allowing me to work as we ride.
HARTWELL GA (706) 376-5005
ANDERSON SC (864) 296-4725
FROM STONEY LONESOME
Each book signed by the author
book revenue goes directly to our Ride for Awareness
This is an amazing story of one young womans plunge into darkness and her struggle back into the light. After being stabbed, raped and left for dead, she finds herself in the grips of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Refusing to relinquish her life to the horrors of this disorder, she fights back, and through the process of reconnecting to her Native American heritage, and with the help of wonderful friends, she triumphs over the darkness of "Stoney Lonesome". It is a love story, a spiritual journey, and a great adventure as you follow Kelly's odyssey.