Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Mom, when I am riding, I don’t even know I have a disability [Free read]

Abby Jones was born at 23 weeks. Even the miracle workers at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) doubted she would make it through the night, but Abby had other plans.

Abby’s mom, Katy Jones, was a career professional who worked at Enterprise Rent- A-Car. She started out washing cars, picking up customers and everything in between, progressing up to a key risk management position in the company, where she worked for 28 years.

Katy’s husband, Phil Jones, became a full-time dad before that was really even a thing. It took a lot of love, faith, hard work and dedication of both parents, grandparents, friends and one great big brother to care for Abby.

Abby was in CHKD for four months after being born. Over the last 20 years she has had about thirty surgeries and has cerebral palsy. Abby has come through every battle with a smile on her face. Her positive attitude and faith are contagious.

When she was around five years old, a friend told Katy and Phil about Dream Catchers in Toano. The nonprofit organization helps individuals with physical, emotional and developmental needs through “therapeutic riding”.

They like to say that “one hour on one horse can positively impact a life forever.” It certainly achieved that for Abby.

Today, the little girl who wasn’t supposed to make it through her first night on earth is 21 years old. And although she is still in a wheelchair for 80 percent of her mobility, she can walk short distances with a walker, and has been riding solo for over a year now.

“Abby touches anybody she meets because of her attitude,” said Katy.

Recently, out of nowhere, Abby told her mother, “Mom, when I am riding I don’t even know I have a disability.” And while Dream Catchers was her inspiration, her vibrant personality has inspired many others, including her mom.

Katy Jones loved her career at Enterprise, but she wasn’t ready to hang up the cleats after retiring from the company. As it turned out, it was the combination of Abby’s inspiration and Katy’s previous work in risk management that led her to open her own Allstate Insurance office.

“I have a passion for protecting people, their possessions and their assets, because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Katy noted.

“And especially when you have a daughter with disabilities you know things are going to come up in life that you aren’t prepared for. Protecting your family with Auto insurance, home insurance and especially life insurance is so important, I’m very passionate about it.”

“And that’s why I really like Allstate, the good hands, their wonderful products, good service and I have a great staff of people who are ready to help people,” she said with a smile.

Katy and Phil have sponsored a therapy horse at Dream Catchers for a while now.

“It’s very important to me what Dream Catchers accomplishes on a daily basis and who they touch, so as a show of support, my Allstate agency sponsors Lark, one of Abby’s favorites” Katy noted.

Abby has graduated from Lark to Norman, a much bigger horse, but Katy and her Allstate team still support Lark and will always be thankful for Dream Catchers as Katy continues to build her new career of helping people prepare for the future, whatever it may bring.

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