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Ellie’s Journey to the Shea Center: Although I am new to the Shea Center, it seems like I have had a long journey to get here. After years of experiencing pain, fatigue and random injuries, I was finally diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Hypermobility in November 2016. EDS causes me to feel pain in all my joints, muscles and bones. One way to protect my joints and strengthen my muscles is to do a lot of physical therapy, including hippotherapy. Riding helps strengthens my core muscles, which helps my back and hips. The best part is that it is fun. Riding at the Shea Center makes me feel lucky. One of the other downfalls of EDS is that I am always tired and fatigued, but when I leave the Shea Center, I feel so happy because my back feels better. And I get to spend time with an animal. My therapists Jillian and Allison are always on top of it and are not “worry warts” with me. I have only been here since January 2017 and I’m so excited for my future here. My mum and I are learning to be “horse people” and it has been fun for us. When I am old enough (I’m 11 years old now), I want to be a volunteer like Skyler and Shea so I can help other kids that are in chronic pain and experience the joys of riding.