Ever since the sports editor set foot in Montague County, he’s been amazed by the generosity of the rodeo community.
That was on display yet again last Saturday during a benefit barrel race on behalf of 17-year-old Saint Jo resident Makayla Garrett.
The benefit, called Makayla’s Wish, took place at the Montague County Cowboy Church covered arena on a spectacularly sunny January afternoon in Montague.
There were nearly 200 entries and a tidy five-figure sum was raised to help Garrett and her family during this great time of need.
See, Garrett’s suffering from a condition called familiar adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a fatal, and there’s currently no known cure.
Garrett’s half-sister Audrey died from FAP back on Nov. 5, 2013. The condition is hereditary, meaning it can be passed down from generation to generation within a family.
FAP first strikes the large intestine, one of the most important parts of the human body’s digestive system.
Polyps can transform into cancer, like it has for Makayla in her stomach and esophagus. The root cause of FAP is a genetic mutation, a flaw in the body’s tumor suppressor genes.
“I’m still in shock,” Makayla’s mother Keysha Avens said of the outpouring of support this past Saturday.
The barrel racing circuit knows Makayla very well.
Her younger sister, Faith, is a barrel racer. Younger brother Hunter Garrett is on the youth rodeo circuit locally. Riggin Garrett, three years old, is already following in Hunter’s footsteps. Read more of this column in the weekend Bowie News.
Editor’s Note: The Storm Center column is the expressed written views of sports editor Eric Viccaro and not The Bowie News.
Saint Jo resident Makayla Garrett (right) enjoys riding a horse during Saturday’s Makayla’s Wish benefit barrel race at the Montague County Cowboy Church. (Courtesy photo by Keysha Avens)