About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.
To help those women battling cancer, a New Mexico teenager set out on a mission during the month of October the best way she knew how — by raising money through riding horses.
“This is a cause I have to support in some way,” said Miranda Sandoval of Rodeo de Santa Fe.
The 19-year-old Miranda Sandoval has been riding horses all her life, but it wasn’t until recently that the fight against breast cancer hit home for her and her family.
“My aunt just recently had her breast cancer battle,” said Sandoval.
Soon after, Miranda set out on a mission to ride 50 horses for 50 different women.
“Each ride I will dedicate to a woman who has breast cancer, who has battled, or had breast cancer,” said Sandoval.
Finding 50 horses and 50 women was no easy feat. That’s where mom and dad come in.
“Her mom was in charge of getting the women and I took care of getting the horses,” said Russell Sandoval, Miranda’s father.
Miranda and her family traveled all over the state to find the horses to ride, from Las Cruces all the way to Farmington, and everywhere in between.
“I would go somewhere where I knew friends were and would ride their horses. Next thing I knew I had a line of horses waiting for me,” said Miranda.
With only 31 days in October, there were times when Miranda had to do as many as 15 to 20 rides a day.
“I can remember telling my mom at one point in the day, what number is this? I don’t remember how many horses I’ve been on. I feel like I’m still on the first one,” said Miranda.
Each ride, she asked people to donate money, helping to raise funds to support breast cancer awareness, while also letting the women know they’re not alone.
“The women in the middle of going through breast cancer need somebody to say, ‘I’m here what do you need,'” said Miranda.
It’s been a long and exhausting journey for Miranda and her family, but an experience they say taught them more than they ever expected.
“It was eye-opening to do this. It was just amazing that these women… what they go through and how they fight and they still come up smiling and willing to go on.”
Miranda says she was able to raise $500.