Make-A-Wish Foundation Pairs Girl with Pony

Newsdate: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 - 09:00 am
Location: PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania

The dreams of a West Rockhill teen with cystic fibrosis came true when the Philadelphia branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation paired her with a pony.

Since meeting in October, the pair spends about five days a week together at the Lehigh County farm where Joey is stabled.

She grooms him, feeds him treats, whispers endearments into his pointed ears. They go for long walks around 50-acre Triple M Highland Farm in Lower Milford. And when the weather cooperates, Bekah and Joey succumb to their shared love of speed - with Joey galloping from field to field, Bekah holding tight on the Western-style saddle atop his broad, white back.

For Rebekah Weigner, known as Bekah to friends and family, owning a horse is a wish come true - one recently granted by the Philadelphia chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 9 months old, Bekah has known she was eligible to get a wish since she was about 8 years old.

She could have settled for a more standard wish, perhaps a weeklong family vacation. But Bekah knew what she wanted and had the patience and determination to wait for it.

It's the first time the regional chapter of Make-A-Wish has had someone wish for a horse, according to Sarah Raiken, who coordinated Bekah's wish.

The foundation grants wishes for children with life-threatening diseases. In addition to finding Joey, the foundation paid for a year of vaccinations and six months of boarding and lessons for the horse, Raiken said. They threw Bekah a "horsey shower," providing the Weigners with blankets and brushes and other items necessary to care for Joey.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..