For kids around the world, having a pet animal is one of the most exciting and magical experiences that they can have. They fall in love with them as though they are part of the family, and the animals often return that love and devotion in their own way. While many children are blessed with kittens and puppies, a little girl in New Smyrna, Florida has had a bit of a different experience. For Madilyn Patrick, or Madi as she is affectionately known, it was a pony named Taco meeting her at her bus stop that caused her photo to go viral.
Everyday after school there would be three faces at the bus stop waiting for her: her father, his horse, and her pony, Taco. How many people can say that they had a pony meeting them at the bus stop everyday? That’s the stuff that little kids dream about. This is the kind of love and devotion that that we think of when we think of father and daughter. However, there is more to the story than just that.
As her father, Sean Patrick, is a professional equestrian, Madi has had the opportunity to learn a lot about horses over the years. She helps around the barn with cleaning and grooming the horses, training them, and feeding them alongside her father. She’s a budding equestrian in her own right, and she’s lucky to have a father who has been there with her every step of the way.
Last summer, Madi was diagnosed with liver cancer, an awful draw for a girl at such a young age. Instead of giving up or quitting, Madi became determined to overcome this seemingly insurmountable obstacle. She was forced to undergo months of painful chemotherapy before finally defeating the disease in March 2016. Although her body was beaten and broken down from the treatment, her energy and resolve remained.
With the cancer behind her and defeated, Madi decided that she wanted to make a difference in the world for other people like her. Her and her father launched a non-profit organization called Colts for Cancer, where they ride and train new colts for people to raise money. All told, they have raised over $10,000 for cancer treatment and research.
Madi hopes to someday use her kind heart and generosity to help animals by becoming a veterinarian. She has to strength, courage, and resolve to whatever she wants, so it doesn’t appear that any type of school can stop her at this point.
Now, over 40,000 people have shared her picture and story across Facebook and the rest of the internet. It’s a truly inspiring story that deserves to have as much coverage as possible.
If you’re interested in showing support for Madi or getting involved with her cause by visiting her father’s Facebook page called ‘Sean Patrick Training’. Even if you aren’t going to get involved with the charity, feel free to share this inspiring story to show people out there that not all hope is lost. No matter the difficulty that you’re facing, there is always a way out.