Johnny Warnshuis, a California native, is traveling through the Hickory area this week as part of a more than 4,000-mile journey across the United States on horseback.
He says he’s riding to raise awareness about Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.
The disorder paralyzed his mother, Sally, more than two years ago, and it took more than a year to get her back on her feet, Warnshuis said. She continues to recover near Redding, Calif., he said.
This week, Warnshuis stayed with Greg and Lynn Heffner, of Newton.
Like most families he’s connected with, the Heffners heard about the cowboy’s story first on the news, and then from another friend in the horsing community.
The Heffners, who also have horses and a small ranch near Sandy Ford Road, provided Warnshuis with shelter, food and a place to rest before he continues his quest.
To read more of this story, pick up the Friday print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.