The Twomey family has been on a long adventure towards finding the magic of Personal Ponies. Twenty-five years ago, Derrill and I (Deb, the Mom) met while working with children with severe disabilities in a nursing home. We wanted to do something so that the children who might be able to grow up in a family had that chance. After getting married we started adopting children with severe physical, cognitive and health challenges. We quickly learned to care for their physical needs but couldn’t always meet their social needs.
The family grew over the years (16 in all) and there were many ups and downs. I had horses growing up and as I suffered the deaths of some of my children, I realized that I needed a horse in my life to give me strength. I started riding again at the age of 48. The children loved my horse, but she is 16’2’’ and quite overwhelming. The children all went to school but were isolated at home with just each other to interact with. In my constant search for ways to make my children’s lives better, I came across Personal Ponies Ltd on the Internet. I immediately contacted Marianne Alexander, the founder of Personal Ponies, and the rest is history.
I am now the State Director for Personal Ponies of Maine. I have 6 of the most wonderful ponies of all ages and all personalities to not only sooth my soul, but to be best friends to all of my children. My ponies go right to the fence when the bus stops and the wheelchairs are unloaded. The children’s first stop is always for a pony kiss before they even go inside. My youngest is 8 and too unstable to go to school, so she spends her days in the barn usually with a pony chin resting in her lap. Not only do the children now get the benefit of pony magic, they also have made many new friends through school programs visiting. When the ponies go on visits, I always take at least one of my children with me to “help”. Because of these wonderful creatures, my children now have the social community that we all need to be happy.
“We delivered Maisie and Pippy to their new home, this week, with Kyle Kazel, a delightful young man (11 years old), who has endured a very difficult life with a form of embryonic cancer known as Yolk Sac Carcinoma (See attached pictures - Kyle is the one with the big smile), As you know, Kyle is afraid of bigger horses, but fell in love with our ponies. Kyle is a great kid (and family!) that we met the past two years through our partnership with the Georgetown Yacht Club and their “Kids Kruise”. His older sister has a horse. This all went together a little quicker than I had expected, as the farm in which Kyle's older sister boards her horse agreed to donate the space to the Kazel family to house our ponies. I helped Kyle's Dad, Greg Kazel fence off a separate area for the ponies and build a run-shed (in Pennsylvania rock, frozen ground and then snow, but we got it done).
I know we did this somewhat backwards, but as I indicated before, Kyle has a foundation that he established, to collect and deliver Christmas gifts to the Kids at A.I. Dupont Childrens Hospital (He has spent four prior Christmases there, undergoing various surgeries, and radiation and chemo treatments), and when it looked as though we might get everything ready by Christmas, we all pushed to do something back for Kyle. We almost made it, with delivery on Tuesday the 28th.” From, Randy Jenkins, Personal Ponies Volunteer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Just a few short months ago Teagan was a typical happy go lucky 12 year old on vacation with her family in Wisconsin and looking forward to a day at an Amusement Park. All of that changed when she fell 100 feet to the ground from a free-fall "EXTREME VELOCITY THRILL RIDE".. Vmix : Teagan Marti press conference