Miracle Jockey Horse racing has been in my family for generations. Every year there are two prestigious horse races, the Kentucky Derby and the All American Futurity. Ever since I could remember my dream was to ride these equine (horse) athletes. Little did I know it wasn't going to be that easy.
A few months after I was born, my parents realized my head was growing faster than my body which led to us meeting Dr. Douglas Brockmeyer at Primary Children's Hospital. Dr. Brockmeyer went to work with his team performing tests, which is when we learned I had hydrocephalus (excess water on the brain). I then had my first of many surgeries to fix the syndrome. Shortly after this, we learned about my second syndrome, Dandy Walker Disease, which led to a back surgery to attend to the cyst on my spinal cord.
During this time my dad trained at Los Alamitos race course where I became friends with two jockeys, Cody Jensen and the late Sam Thompson. From this my dream of becoming a jockey spread like wild fire. I watched them overcome adversities and their recoveries from injuries. My first thought was "well if they can have a injury and ride again, I can too". At the time it seemed out of reach, but my support group was phenomenal. Surgeries and school started to become a problem, which led to Amy Jensen (Cody's wife) helping me through school and other obstacles.
Many years and surgeries later, I asked Dr Brockmeyer what the odds were of me becoming a jockey? One thing Dr. Brockmeyer always told me was "I can do anything" which kept my dream alive. He then told me that as long as my body lets me and I have the best safety equipment we could give it a shot. As the years passed, along with multiple surgeries, my dream became reality. If I didn't have these wonderful Dr's at PCH and a wonderful family and support group I wouldn't be where I'm at today.
I was a professional stakes winning jockey for seven years living my dream one ride at a time. My advice to everyone going through these life changing surgeries/procedures is to set a goal. No matter how crazy it may seem at the time if you set a goal and "CHASE" it, it makes our journeys easier to navigate through. Just because we may look different or we may think these syndromes hold us back, they don't. You're the pilot to your body and mind not the co- pilot.
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