Leslie Fender and his horse, Angel, are traveling across the country together to raise awareness for an organization that helped save his life.
If you happen to see a friendly looking man in a cowboy hat riding horseback down your street, you may want to stop and say hello.
Leslie Fender and his American Quarter Horse named Angel are on a mission to raise awareness and funding for the National Stroke Association. Fender is a Marine Corps veteran who suffered a stroke in 2004.
“It sucked and I was paralyzed on my right side for six months. My doctor had a new surgery he was doing and we were willing to give it a try,” Fender told the Progress-Index.
The surgery, which costs $275,000, was paid for by the National Stroke Association. This generosity from the organization is what inspired Fender to raise awareness for the non-profit.
“People don’t know enough about (the National Stroke Association) and a lot of the things that they do is the best in the world,” he said.
Fender began his journey riding cross-country with Angel in January 2012. Since then, they have traveled over 10,000 miles from their hometown of Stephenville, Texas and raised $750,000 for the association together.
Most recently, the duo were spotted just outside of Washington D.C. this weekend. Fender is a Vietnam veteran and said he planned to visit both the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial while he was in town.
According to Arlington Now, Fender and Angel will make their way north of Washington D.C. with plans to stop at nearby Veterans Affairs hospitals, American Legion and V.F.W. posts later this week.
If you spot the duo near you, Fender says he welcomes anyone who is curious and wants to say hello to his adorable companion Angel. There’s just one important favor that he asks of those who want to say hello.
“They can come and see her, definitely,” Fender said. “But they should donate to the stroke foundation if they do.”