At months old Hazel was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a rare form of blood cancer that only 500 kids get each year. On August 16, 2015 Hazel spent her first of many nights at Rady Children's hospital. During Hazel's 928 days with us, she spent 622 days in treatment. With 216 inpatient stays and 140 clinic visits. She was always cautiously quiet, patient and sweet with her Rady's team. She became so familiar with the hospital routine that when pulling into the parking lot she would say "We are home". But there was no place that made her happier than at her real home. She fought hard, without realizing it, and brought everyone so much joy and love without even trying. one of Hazel's favorite people was her big sister, Raya. Always following her around :-)
Though she was but little , she was fierce!
Khing of Diamonds aka "Khing", is a 4 year old Half Arabian gelding. He is proudly owned by Kristal & Ryan, the founders of Warrior Kids for Warrior Horses. When Ryan came up with the idea they knew who the first Warrior Kid had to be, their dear little Warrior Hazel. It was easy to pick Khing as her Warrior Horse as they had shown pictures to Hazel and her mom during clinic days, to pass the time. He also has the kindest heart and the sweetest disposition, a lot like like Hazel. Unfortunately Hazel never had the chance to meet Khing as she passed away on April 26, 2017... just after starting. Warrior Horses for Warrior Kids. However, he will carry on her memory upon his back... he has a special angel watching over him while he shows:-) Khing also has the honor in being Raya's Warrior Horse, Hazel's big sister!
Scottsdale Champion and Reserve Champion with Ryan Melendez. Showing him in Jr Western Pleasure classes, first time showing in a bosal. Trained by Bill Melendez.
Well today Hazel's mom and big sister came to the ranch to meet Khing! It was a beautiful moment and it was a day for Raya! Something special for her to do and I told her I needed help taking care of Khing. At first she was a little unsure but it didn't take long before she started to interact with her "Warrior Horse". He LOVED the attention and he sure did look super handsome in the pink bows she put in his hair:-)
Khing even bought Raya a few toys including a princess crown... since he was a Khing she of course would be a princess! He also got her a horse stable playset which she was wanting to play with right in the barn aisle! A true horse girl!!! Lol While she was opening the gifts she turned and said "Thank you Khing!" Adorable!!!!! Afterwards we got a few carrots and she learned how to feed them to him. Of course us horse people forget just how intimidating horse teeth can appear! I was so proud of Raya as she pushed through her fear at first and soon she was feeding him a few carrots. I love watching the confidence grow in these young children:-)
I asked her if she wanted to take Khing for a walk and she said YES! When I grabbed the lead line Raya called it a leash lol I LOVE it! After a little walk it was time to put Khing back in his stall. I couldn't believe it but when we asked Raya if she wanted to sit on Khing's back she didn't skip a beat and said yes. So we Megan, Lynn and I made sure Raya felt secure and of course Khing was a good boy. Soon Raya was smiling and sitting up on Khing... even letting him sniff her sneakers lol