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For Clayton, horseback riding is more than just fun, it's a way for him to get stronger!

Riding for Hope

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Clayton is just like any other kids his age; he’s curious, full of imagination and adventure. Out in Steele, North Dakota, Clayton particularly enjoys being around and riding horses. And while any chance he gets to go riding is bound to be a great time, Clayton also goes to work on building up his strength.

While any chance he gets to go riding is bound to be a great time, Clayton also goes to work on building up his strength.

Diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder, Clayton’s body does not produce enough energy to always keep up with day-to-day activities. Depending on the day, he could only manage to walk a few steps before falling down.

That all changed when he began riding therapy at TR4 Heart & Soul located in Bismarck, North Dakota.

For months, Clayton and his family have made a point to catch a riding session once every week depending on how Clayton is feeling. A session is made up of 6 rides that are focused on different activities to build up strength, balance, and coordination.

The difference is huge.

Young boy and his grandma
Grandma Vickie and Clayton hanging out and having a good time.

“He could walk before, but he couldn’t go very far. Now he can go quite a ways without stopping!”

“It’s amazing to see what change has come out of it,” said Clayton’s grandmother, Vickie Murray. “He could walk before, but he couldn’t go very far. Now he can go quite a ways without stopping!”

Vickie and her family were happy to see how much progress Clayton had made since starting his therapeutic riding. But with the frequency of the sessions, the cost to keep him enrolled wasn’t something to ignore.

Catching wind of the Wishing Well Program, Vickie decided to try her luck—anything would help.

Not long after submitting her wish, Vickie found herself walking into the Choice Bank location in Steele where she was warmly greeted by Location President, Mark Sand and fellow team members.

Community bank granting wishes.
The crew at Steele made sure to give Vickie a warm welcome and some hugs!

“Come on in, Vickie!” Mark said.

Confusion on Vickie’s face quickly turned to shock and surprise as Mark read her wish and said with a smile, “We’d like to pay for several of Clayton’s sessions to keep him going for a while.”

After exchanging a few hugs, Vickie only had one thing to say: “Riding has made such a big difference in Clayton’s world and ours. Thank you for helping us to support him on his journey!”


For more information on the Wishing Well Program and how you can submit a wish be sure to visit bankwithchoice.com/wishing-well/.