Best friend rides 1,000 miles to honor promise - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Best friend rides 1,000 miles to honor promise

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Shreveport piano player Winston Hall is making a 1,000 mile journey from Texas to Colorado to keep a promise to his best friend who died from cancer.

Hall will kick off the 8-week journey next week, and plans on riding a horse the entire way. This trip is called "A Journey for Jonathan" and will honor the friendship between the two men. 

"We had a lot of adventures together," says Hall. 

Hall says he met his best friend Jonathan Avitia while growing up in Gatesville, Texas.

"One would go off and have an adventure, and the other would eventually follow," says Hall. 
 
He says out of all the adventures shared by the men, they would become the closest after working together at Wind River Ranch in Colorado. After years of riding horses, they moved onto bigger adventures, and an even bigger challenge. 

"He had a problem with his chest, and he wasn't sure what it was and the very next day he got a biopsy and at 29-years-old they told him he had cancer," says Hall. 

In October 2011, Jonathan was diagnosed with an Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor, a deadly cancer with only a 40 percent survival rate. 

"He said I want you to have that saddle," says Hall. 

In the midst of his battle, Jonathan wanted to leave his most prized possession, his saddle, to his best friend. Hall told Jonathan if he did not beat cancer then he would ride that saddle from where this friendship started in Texas to where it blossomed in Colorado. 

Jonathan passes away in March of 2013, and Hall set out to make the promise come true. 

Hall took to the internet and told the story of his friendship with Jonathan on Kickstarter.com. In total, he raised $24,000. 

He's found the right horse and hopped back on the saddle. Next week, he will kick-off the 1,000 mile journey. 

Hall says when he finishes the journey, he will write a book about his friendship and the journey to fulfill his promise. 

Copyright 2014 KSLA All rights reserved.

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