Meet Claudia: Navigating the Road to Recovery

“I don’t know where we’d be without this help.”

As far back as she can remember, the only thing that mattered to Claudia was horses. Her childhood afforded sporadic opportunities to ride, but dreams gave way to obligations in adulthood. In 1997 when Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer, she did not want to go another day without horses in her life, so she and her husband, Michael, bought their first horses and a small farm in Florida. Their days working side by side as independent jewelers were book-ended by time spent caring for each other and their animals.

After seeing her eye doctor in 2015, Claudia received a second blow. She had a malignant cranial tumor with complications which would likely result In permanent vision impairment in her left eye—a devastating prognosis for a rider and jewelry designer.

Claudia’s doctor recommended a rare and difficult surgery to be performed by a team of specialists in Boston to remove her tumor. After that and radiation treatments, several additional surgeries would be required. Claudia and her husband have never been apart throughout their marriage, so they decided the trips to Boston were ones they had to make together even though they would have to shut down their business for extended periods of time.

The resulting financial consequences have been beyond anything that this couple could ever have planned. Claudia’s best friend, who is also an Equestrian Aid recipient, told her about the financial and emotional support that the Foundation provides, and she applied. Thanks to the Foundation's generous donors, Equestrian Aid has been able to help Claudia and Michael mitigate some of the impact that her medical requirements have had on their lives. “You don’t know how emotional it makes me to know a foundation like this exists,” says Claudia. “I hope I can give back as much as you’ve given me.”