My husband, Bill, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on July 8, 2010. Our lives haven't been the same since.
He started at CHUM in April of 2012. Bill had always loved to ride prior to his TBI, and I thought if he could ride again, it might be something familiar for him, something that would not only be good for him physically, but also boost his confidence. You see, Bill has aphasia - that disconnect between the brain and the mouth, which makes it hard for him to form thoughts and sentences. He also had adynamia, or "flat affect", which can make his face look completely devoid of emotion. CHUM has changed all that.
Bill started at CHUM in April of 2012. His balance was poor, he was fearful, and he needed someone to lead his horse, as well as 2 side-walkers, for his safety, (all of whom, along with Bonnie, have had the patience of Job, I might add!) Bill's seat was good, he remembered how to hold the reins, and could post, but was all over the place when he did.
Almost 4 years later, the miracle that is CHUM: Bonnie, her incredible volunteers, their faith in Bill (as well as his stubborness) are apparent. Bill now rides independently; is more verbal, using complete sentences; can follow verbal directions from Bonnie much faster than he could at first; trots his horse; posts; controls it well, and even takes low jumps!!
CHUM awarded Bill the Adult Rider of the Year award in 2015, and the grin that Bill displayed when he accepted this award was the real deal! He's so much more expressive now! CHUM - the people, the horses, the faith and prayers that have come Bill's way (and mine) these past years....well...for this wife who loves
her husband so much, we are very, very grateful for this wonderful organization, that truly IS "built on faith, guided by grace".
CHUM is a blessing, and Bill and I have been blessed. Thank you!