Cowboy riding 400 miles on horseback to raise awareness for cancer in memory of father

Cowboy riding 400 miles on horseback to raise awareness for cancer in memory of father
Cowboy riding 400 miles on horseback to raise awareness for cancer in memory of father (NBC News)

(WSAZ) – Harold Fitzwater is riding nearly 400 miles through Kentucky and West Virginia to visit his father’s grave -- and raise money to fight cancer.

Normally, people in eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia wouldn’t think twice about seeing a man on a horse, but seeing Harold Fitzwater and his horses on a busy highway has turned heads.

“People say they’ve never seen horses going through town,” he says.

The interest is what Harold is looking for. It gets people talking and asking what he’s doing, and he’ll gladly tell them.

“It’s a double header really. It’s in memory of my dad, but an awareness ride,” he explains.

The ride is something Harold says his dad wanted to do 16 years ago. They planned to ride horseback from where they lived in Somerset, Kentucky, and return to their roots in Ivydale, West Virginia.

As they were training their horses for the trip, Harold’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and died shortly afterward. A few years later, Harold found some of their supplies they had gathered and decided he was going to take the journey to honor his dad, but then he had a heart attack.

In 2017, when he was strong enough to train again, he was diagnosed with lung cancer himself.

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