Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trent Peterson rides across PCT to raise awareness for genetic disease/Ataxia - Full Article

By CHRISTINA COX - May 12, 2017

Outside of Agua Dulce’s Hiker Heaven, Trent Peterson uses a steel hammer to pound and shape a new set of horseshoes for his mustangs, Gary and Minaret.

The shoeing of the horses and the stop at the popular hiker destination marks a small break for Peterson and his three Mustangs as they travel from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Over the course of five and a half months, Peterson will complete the trail’s 2,659-mile journey on horseback to raise awareness and money for the Ataxia Foundation, which funds research projects to stop the hereditary disease that took his father’s life in 2014.

Ataxia comes in a variation of forms and names and is described as a disorder of the Central Nervous System which causes a slow progression or incoordination in walk and movements. Currently, there is no cure for the disease but doctors are making progress to stop its onset.

“I want to create a loud enough voice for the Ataxia community, a voice that it doesn’t have and it desperately needs,” Peterson said.

To support Ataxia research, Peterson is using all the money left from his GoFundMe page and from his countless sponsors to donate to the Ataxia Foundation and the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

“We have all the money we need to get to the border and the rest is going to the foundations,” Peterson said.

In addition, at the end of the trip, Peterson will sell his three mustangs in an auction and will donate all of the proceeds to the Ataxia Foundation.

“Money buys research and research buys a cure,” he said.

Peterson is also riding to honor the courageous spirit and love of adventure that his dad, Gary Peterson, exemplified in all parts of his life.

“He loved his family, he loved his kids and he loved the world around him and being out in it was his happy time,” Peterson said. “When he passed it was immediately that I wanted to do something that embodied that spirit for him.”

His trip across three countries, three states, 25 national forests and seven national parks, aims to give hope to those who need it and highlight “The Wild in Us,” which is the namesake for his journey...

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