Cowboys Against Cancer event turns tragic

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas woman riding on horseback for cancer awareness, has been severely hurt along her journey.

Earlier this month, Bob and Sharon Slayden of Jacksonville began their journey. They are riding across the state on horseback to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

But Monday night, the journey came to an abrupt halt. Sharon was hit by a truck driver in between Van Horn and Sierra Blanca, just outside of El Paso.

Bob and Sharon Slayden's niece, Tonya Hill, is asking for your prayers. "She's in surgery right now and we just need her to pull through this because they were doing good in God's eyes and doing good for the church," Tonya said.

Bob and Sharon call themselves Cowboys Against Cancer. Each of them have lost family members to the disease.

Earlier this month, when the Slaydens saddled up, they talked about their mission to make a difference. "It's just an awareness that us or anybody else that runs for the Cancer Society itself wants to have people know that your relative can be helped today," said Sharon.

It has been a hard ride - a month-long journey across the state. "We could have gone to the Valley or we could have gone to Amarillo, but it just sounded good to go to El Paso," said Bob at the beginning of the month.

The road to El Paso turned tragic Monday night. According to Tonya, Bob and Sharon stopped to help an ambulance driver fix a flat tire. "When they did, she was trying to put her horse up for the night, into the trailer and some car, a truck, came by and hit her," said Tonya. "Luckily, the guy they were helping was an EMT because he revived her and they carried her to a hospital."

Sharon's horse, Shadow, was killed. It all happened just miles from the finish line. "They only had like 129 miles to go to El Paso before it was over with," said Tonya.

D.P.S. has not yet released a report confirming details, but witnesses say the truck driver was coming over a hill at about 80 miles an hour when he slammed into the back of their trailer.

"I don't know how he could miss a horse and a trailer anyway, but they need to learn to slow down on the road and to pay attention to what they're doing because if not, then good people get hurt," said Tonya.

They are on a mission to save others and are now praying for healing themselves.

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