Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cancer survivor takes on Tevis Cup Ride

Santamariatimes.com - Full Article

July 19 2016
Mary Ann Norbom mnorbom@leecentralcoastnews.com

The oldest modern-day endurance ride in the U.S., the Western States Trail Ride -- commonly called the Tevis Cup Ride -- is a 100-mile test of rider and horse. You might expect to find only the healthiest and fittest of competitors out on the trail. The Valley's Lora Wereb and Spin-Out Merlin are far from that stereotype.

Wereb is a cancer patient. Spin-Out Merlin is 18 1/2 years old, an abused, broken-down rescue when Wereb adopted him three years ago. Neither one of them should probably still be alive, Wereb acknowledged. They're beating the odds, and doing it together.

Wereb was working as a veterinary technician in Santa Barbara and living near Lake Cachuma when she discovered a lump in her breast in March 2013. The diagnosis was devastating. Wereb had three tumors, stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her liver. Treatment began with three months of weekly chemotherapy, followed by surgery for the breast cancer. The liver cancer is inoperable. She's on daily oral medication for that.

Home on disability with time on her hands, a friend asked Wereb if she'd be interested in a horse she'd just rescued. Her previous experience had been exclusively with small animals, so Wereb had to learn about horses on the fly. Taking on the challenge, she named the horse Spin-Out Merlin...

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