When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the entire family is impacted. Tracy Kujawa, the founder and executive director of Angel Heart Farm in College Grove, and a cancer survivor herself, knows this firsthand. Tracy woke up one day after literally dreaming about helping bald children and knew she had a calling. In 2001, Tracy established Angel Heart Farm,
a non-profit organization, and the only program of its kind, to provide equine therapy for children facing chronic or life-threatening illnesses and their siblings. A horse has a gentle sixth sense, which makes it a perfect therapy animal, while riding promotes confidence and emotional growth for the youngsters. The farm itself offers the entire family the chance to connect with nature as
well as have some sense of normalcy. In fact, Tracy hosts a number of mom’s and dad’s events to bring families dealing with similar issues together.
“One out of 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer in the United States,” Tracy notes. “Although the survival rate is getting better, the emotional toll and medical treatment costs are still high. This is why riding lessons, equipment, boots and helmets, also a place to stay, if needed, are offered completely free of charge. If riding provides even just a moment of joy to these precious little ones who go through so much, then it’s worth it.” Even if a child has recovered, no one in remission is turned away. To date, Angel Heart Farm has helped more than 400 children.
Angel Heart Farm tailors lessons for each child’s individual needs, some even compete in local or regional shows, but all of the young riders must read one page of a book to a horse. Tracy started the literacy program because many of the children are not able to attend school in person. “It instills a joy for reading and gets everyone in the right frame of mind before riding.”
Angel Heart Farm relies on grants and donations. All monetary gifts of support are welcomed and are tax deductible. Tracy also appreciates donations of time to help with farmyard maintenance. “I love the farm and helping the children set and achieve goals and learn how to ride. The horses though, are the real teachers.” AngelHeartFarmNashville.com//How-To-Help