Teen organizes rodeo to fight cystic fibrosis

Bryce Huskey has never been afraid

of a challenge. That's why he learned to Roman Ride horses- where the rider stands on the backs of horses and performs tricks.

"He's a fighter for sure," said Bryce's trainer and co-owner of Hedrick Family Rodeo, Jessica Smiley-Hedrick.

The 18-year-old is battling a life-threatening genetic lung disorder called Cystic Fibrosis. There's no cure, but that's not what Bryce chooses to focus on.

"We don't sit there and let it rule us. We're going to beat it. That's the way we look at it," said Bryce's mother, Cindy Huskey.

Instead, Bryce has decided to help find a cure by using his passion for horses.

"Just seeing that other people are way sicker than me. As good as I'm doing, I can raise money to help them," Bryce said, "We were all like, 'Let's try to do a rodeo!'"

Bryce had fallen in love with the rodeo a few years earlier thanks to his family friends, the Hedricks, who own a rodeo company. The Hedrick family let him pitch in and trained him to perform.

Last year just one week before their first rodeo, Bryce got sick.

"I practiced for three or four months back to back and then, bam! I couldn't do it," said Bryce.

"It was definitely heart breaking last year to see that he had worked so hard and was unable to perform and had to be in the hospital. So it made it more special for me to be out there to show my honor to him to honor his fight. It's going to be more special this year because he's going to get to do it," said Smiley-Hedrick.

This year, he has even more practice under his belt and is ready to show off.

Bryce taking an experimental drug, Kalydeco, that's made a big impact on his health because of reserach funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He hopes to raise money so others battling CF will have the same opportunities he does.

The rodeo is 7:30 p.m. Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13 at McMinn Central High School in Englewood. Tickets are $12 for adults, kids under 5 are free.


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