Mikayla Herrera was surrounded by Round-Up royalty Thursday, but she was the only one wearing a tiara.
Mikayla, 15, was atop a horse taking pictures with the Round-Up court through the Children’s Western Wish Foundation, a nonprofit that presented her with a sash, buckle, straw hat and tiara, and gave her a short ride on a horse.
Mikayla and her parents — Angelo and Debbie — were connected with Children’s Western Wish through Dream Catcher Therapeutics. Each week this summer, Mikayla and her family traveled to the nonprofit horse ranch in Pendleton for a therapy session to help treat her epilepsy, which has resulted in some developmental disabilities.
But that hasn’t stopped Mikayla from enjoying music, bowling, swimming and an enthusiasm for horse riding and Western wear.
“When she got her boots in the mail, she immediately put them on,” Angelo said.
“And she hasn’t taken them off,” Debbie added.
Children’s Western Wish’s selection is coinciding with some important developments in Mikayla’s life.
Her parents said they’re trying to wean her off some of her epilepsy medications and are finding some success by treating her with hemp oil.
And they feel like she’s exhibiting some growth at the Round-Up.
Children’s Western Wish sponsored a family trip to the kick-off concert with country band Old Dominion.
While Mikayla often gets a sensory overload from musical performances, Angelo said she was fully engaged with a concert for the first time at the Happy Canyon Arena.