Elijah out on the range

“Woah, Reno – it’s time for a photo!”

“... riding under a blue sky and a warm sun ...”

It’s been a year since the last of Elijah’s eight surgeries. His tumor is gone – and so are the days he could barely speak above a whisper or manage to eat a single bite at breakfast.

As he settles into the saddle of Reno, his favorite horse, it’s easy to forget Elijah was ever sick. But not for his family: his parents, Heather and Timothy … his siblings Joel, Hannah and Ian. They stood by him for every treatment, every moment under anesthesia.

And now they’re with Elijah for the best experience of his life – his Make-A-Wish® trip to go out on the range. Twice a day, Elijah moseys to the stables at the White Stallion Ranch in Arizona to saddle up. 

Today, Elijah looks like a young Gene Autry with his blue shirt, red bandana and broad grin. Every day so far, he’s dressed the part of a classic Old West hero. Yesterday, he was the Lone Ranger. His unbridled love for all things cowboy makes him a hit with White Stallion guests and staff.

Elijah takes Reno’s reins. The horse’s easygoing gait fills him with confidence. From the saddles, Elijah has a limitless view of the creosote bushes, the cactus, the mountains spanning the distance.

But his parents and siblings have the best view of all … the youngest member of their family riding under a blue sky and a warm sun – away from worry– into the rest of his life.

  • Elijah takes life by the reins.

  • A tip of the hat … or just trying to keep it from blowing away in the wind?

  • “Woah, Reno – it’s time for a photo!”

  • Elijah’s view from the saddle.

  • Elijah enjoys some time at the petting zoo.

  • A big dog is just as “cowboy” as a good horse.

  • First ride of the day.

  • Elijah and Reno wait for the stragglers.

  • Elijah’s mom gives him a better look at a friendly goat.

  • Elijah and his dad feed the critters.

  • Waiting to hit the trails again.

  • Reno is Elijah’s favorite horse at the ranch.

  • All smiles, as usual.

  • Riding off into the sun.

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