SAN ANTONIO – A Smiley, Texas woman has let her disease diagnosis fuel her passion and drive to rehabilitating horses in full force in her lifetime.
Darla Cherry, president and CEO of Meadow Haven Horse Rescue, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.
Before then, she was a very active woman, which all started with horses at the age of 3.
“Some people would remember Marvin Mustang, and mom bought me that horse when I was 3 years old,” Cherry said. “She shouldn’t have done it because that started the fire. My mom had to take me for pony rides on weekends. Then they had to move me to the country to get my first horse. See, I cost them a lot of money now that I think about it and I kind of feel bad,” she laughed.
Cherry went on to showing, training, breeding, roping and barrel racing horses throughout her early lifetime.
“After my diagnosis, I had to slow it down,” Cherry said. “It made a lot of things harder. I was a very active person and this kind of kicked me in the gut. People who are diagnosed, and I did for about 30 days, I thought ‘Why do you go on? What is next in your life?’”
Cherry said it was a blind horse that changed her life forever.
“I knew of Meadow Haven Horse Rescue and there was this blind horse,” Cherry said. “Nobody wants a blind horse, but I thought, this is how I will spend my life serving the very thing I love.”