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It's not every day that you see a cowboy on horseback in the middle of New York City. But it is something Johnny Warnshuis dreamed of for a long time on the open trail.
"It's taken me a year and a half to get to New York," Warnshuis said.
That's because he traveled all 44,000 miles on horseback. He saddled up in California March of 2011 and rode into the Big Apple on November 15th, 2012. He did it all to raise awareness for Guillain Barre, a disease that affects the nervous system that left his own mother temporarily paralyzed.
"It's pretty expensive treatment," Warnshuis said. "The therapy to get [her] to walk again took a year and a half and we spent all our money. I decided to ride across country and raise awareness for it."
And that chilly day in November, he didn't just reach his destination, he also took his mom along for the ride.
"I cried," Sally Warnshuis said as she stood next to her soon in downtown Nashville. "All the time I was paralyzed he kept promising me he'd get me back on a horse and he did. So that was just awesome."
But the journey wasn't just long, it was also dangerous. While riding through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania one of his horses reared back, and landed on top of him, shattering his ankle.
"After he rolled off of my leg I could see the bottom of my shoe," Warnshuis said. "I knew that wasn't normal."
It took 15 screws to put his ankle back together. The injury kept him off the horse for six weeks.
"It was devastating to think 'I'm so close yet so far away,'" Warnshuis said.
But with the help of strangers along the way, he eventually made it to New York, with a healthy mom, and new outlook on life.
"I learned more about humanity on this trip than I did about just riding a horse," Warnshuis said. "It brought back my faith in humanity for sure."
Along the way, Warnshuis stopped at St. Jude Children's Hospital and worked with several non-profits organizations. He hopes to pursue a future in charity work and plans write a book about his journey, to be released in the spring of 2013.
Thursday, December 6 2012, 10:16 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
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DETROIT (AP) -- Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.
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