INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A woman battling terminal cancer was treated to a special day at a ranch on Tuesday with friends and family.
After growing up on a farm near Bates City, 67-year-old Debbie Ward said she has had a love of horses for all of her life.
“I loved it. I loved the farm,” she said. “I loved every minute of it.”
On Tuesday, Ward headed out with her sister and staff from Crossroads Hospice to the Misty River Equestrian Center in Independence.
With plenty of horses in stables and roaming on the ranch, Ward took everything in.
“This was her ‘Gift of the Day’, to want and come and be around horses,” said Vivian Fox, Ward’s older sister. “She’s kind of like a horse whisperer. She’s had that connection with them and loves them.”
With the help of trainers, Ward was able to pet, groom, and feed some of the horses.
The experience also led to a special ride around an indoor area and on an outdoor trail.
“I’m just enjoying that I’m able to be here with her to do it and that we’re making memories,” Fox said. “She told me, ‘I can go meet my maker now.’”
Following the special day, Ward told 41 Action News that the gathering meant so much to her.
“I am so blessed as all,” she said. “I am so blessed today.”
Tuesday’s event was organized by Crossroads Hospice through the “Gift of a Day” program.