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‘Where hearts and hooves collide,’ the healing process begins

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)- A local woman is using her life changing experience to help heal others, using animals.

For Michelle Derrick, life hasn’t always been easy.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2013,” she said.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer not once, but twice.

“I became angry,” she said. “I had basically become a recluse. I didn’t want to talk to anybody because they try to empathize but they really don’t understand.”

Choosing not to have radiation or chemo, not knowing what to do.

“I was literally just crying my eyes out, my heart was broken; it was just a bad time.”

Or where to turn.

“I just needed somebody to talk to and I didn’t have anybody but me and God.”

That’s when a donkey named Cora.

“In the midst of those two and a half years at the very end, the Lord actually told me to buy a donkey and I was like what? We didn’t even have the land setup and everything.”

Came into her life after visiting a friend and her animals.

“Cora basically approached me,” Derrick said. “She tried to get in my car, she chased my car out of the field.”

“I went back out there to visit again and I asked the owner, I said will you sell her to me and he said yes I will.”

Not knowing Cora.

“I would go out every single night, usually between 8 and 9 o’clock and I would sit in the run in shed with Cora.”

Would ultimately save her life.

“All of a sudden I felt this little nudge on my forehead and I looked up and the sweetest little nose and the biggest brown eyes were staring me right in the face,” she said. “I could literally, when I looked deep into her eyes, she spoke to my heart and she said everything is going to be okay, you are going to be just fine.”

Sparking the Hopes for Hooves rescue.

“I’d like to call it a place where hearts and hooves collide.”

That helps heal others in ways that Cora healed her.

Derrick invites anyone to come out to the rescue whether you’ve been through a traumatic experience or not.

They offer tours, horseback riding and more.

Click here to set up an appointment.

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