We are so excited to SHARE with you the story of Lia Ray and her program here in San Marcos that provides equestrian therapy to people impacted by cancer.
Cancer is something that touches all of us in one way or another. With the current statistics that 1 in 2 men and 1in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetimes, you probably have at least a few people in your life who have been recently diagnosed or have recently started treatments or who are lucky enough to be in remission. Maybe you are one of them yourself – like Lia.
Lia Ray grew up here in San Marcos since the third grade. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty. And, like all who hear those words, “you have cancer.” she was devastated, scared and unsure of what was to come.
During treatments, Lia would go visit her horse. Even on days when she was too tired to ride, she would still spend time brushing or just sitting with her horse. It was her escape and one of the few places where she felt ‘normal’. She was able to just breathe and de-stress, thinking about something other than cancer.
Once her treatments were complete, the barn became her place to come alive, rediscover herself and who she was after cancer.
Animals, including horses, have long been regarded as natural healers. Working with the horses helps participants gain insight as it relates to emotions, communication, relationships, personal healing, and inner strength.
Lia knew that her cancer treatments would have been almost unbearable without her horse, the barn and her friends there. This is when she decided to create a place where anyone going through cancer treatments or having had cancer would have a something to look forward to other that doctor visits and treatments. A healing place without walls and with no boundaries.
After a lot of dreaming, planning and working, Lia founded Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy in 2014. This non-profit organization is right here in our backyard in Deer Springs and it is quickly becoming a safe and healing environment where individuals and families can find a new way to copy with a cancer diagnoses, make new friends and be able to have something to look forward to as they face the challenge cancer brings.
Services at Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy are individualized and available for survivors, those in treatment and also for family members and caregivers. They are open and ready to serve. Now the challenge is to get the word out there to the community. If you or someone you know could benefit from this unique, individualized therapy, please reach out to Ray of Sunshine.
In addition, they welcome donations, volunteers and contributions to support the program. You can sponsor a horse or treatment – such as feet trimming, worming or dental work. You can sponsor a family session or series. You can provide in kind donations such as fly spray, hoof conditioner, brushes and grooming supplies, good quality tack and equipment such as halters, lead ropes, bridles and helmets.
Another great way to get involved is to support their first annual fundraising event, which takes place on June 19, 2015 at the Williams Barn at Walnut Grove Park. The event takes place from 7-9PM and will include a silent auction, hosted bar, dinner and life music by Grand Canyon Sundown.
Buy a ticket to the event and/or donate an auction item to help support this new resource here in our community.
“I am so excited to be able to create and share a place that will help others through their journey. I knew that I was meant to do something special with my diagnosis. To be able to combine my passion of horses, to help others feel empowered, remember to live in the now and to help them through their journey is the most amazing feeling!” Lia shares.
Ray of Sunshine Equestrian Therapy can benefit cancer patients, survivors, siblings and caregivers from the trauma of any type of cancer by supporting the healing process both mentally and physically.
To learn more, please visit www.rsunshine.org or call (760) 484-1596.