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Back in the saddle: Healing from cancer

D’arcy Main-Boyington lights up when she talks about her 12-year-old trail horse, Gulliver. She describes their first meeting as being love at first sight. There is nothing she enjoys more than being out in nature with her favorite riding partner.

It was December 2016, when D’arcy was told those three words that have caused suffering for so many: “You have cancer.” Her breast cancer diagnosis affected virtually every aspect of her life, including her ability to ride Gulliver. What was her response? Combine her passion for riding with a strong desire to fight back against a disease, which had become very personal, to create the EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge Horseback Trail Ride.

Approximately 100 horses and their owners are expected to gather in Corinna on October 13 for the first-ever trail ride to support research at EMMC Cancer Care. The trail ride will build upon Champion the Cure’s signature walk/run/ride event, which will take place on August 18 in Brewer. D’arcy, a City of Brewer employee, pitched the idea for the trail ride after being contacted by EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge event organizers to discuss holding a canoe and kayak paddling event on the Brewer Waterfront.

D’arcy has had five surgeries since being diagnosed with cancer. It’s been a tough journey, but she’s well on the road to recovery. She is looking forward to warmer weather and an opportunity to ride Gulliver.

“One of the things that made it hard for me was not being able to ride my horse,” she says. “But it also has given me a reason to push really hard physically, so when the riding season comes around, I’ll be ready for it. Being able to make a difference and do something that is really important to the community makes me really happy.”

To learn more about EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge Trail Ride, or to sign up and ride with D’arcy and others, visit

Have 20 seconds to fight back against cancer? Vote for EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge!