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[attribution]Chance and Robin Freeman[/attribution]

Robin Freeman's horse ChanceOnly two years old, Chance weighs 1300 pounds and stands taller than me. His size doesn’t matter, though – he is still a baby, my baby, and gives me a kiss every morning when I feed him breakfast and every night when I see him to bed. It’s a special moment for this “Gentle Giant” and me, especially since every day he lives to kiss me is truly a miracle.

When Chance, the first horse I had ever owned from birth, was five months old, my veterinarian, Dr. Younger sent him to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Hospital due to severe colic symptoms, warning me that Chance might not survive the trip. The veterinarians there discovered he had a deformity in his intestines. Throughout the treatment and recovery, Dr. Sheats and Dr. Gerard carefully reviewed all possible options, candidly discussing with me the risks and benefits of each. Surgery was the best option. Over the last year and a half, Chance has had three major surgeries. The hospital became Chance’s second home, with him spending nearly as much time there as in his own barn. Thanks to the efforts and love of Dr. Sheats, Dr. Gerard, and the rest of the hospital staff, however, Chance is now happy and at home with me, where he belongs, sharing the kisses that he deserves.

I established the “A Chance to Learn” Equine Scholarship because I wanted to share my joy in my horse Chance’s full recovery. Chance never would have survived until his 1st birthday without the experience and support of dedicated and talented veterinarians, researchers, surgeons, veterinary assistants and students. I hope that as a fourth year student, the recipient will bring the same passion and skill to the future endeavors of the North Carolina State Equine Program.

I treasure every moment I spend with Chance. Each night when I put him to bed, Chance and I reflect on his emotional roller coaster ride in life.  I am so very thankful for what Chance has taught me and in return Chance and I want to share in teaching others.

There are not enough words to describe the greatness of the North Carolina State Equine Teaching Hospital.  I realize that in the scheme of things this is a very small scholarship, but it has two of the biggest hearts behind it!

Forever thankful for a chance to live,