Cornell's equestrian team "adopted" an eight-year-old battling leukemia.

Courtesy of Indigo Pavlov

Cornell's equestrian team "adopted" an eight-year-old battling leukemia.

November 20, 2019

‘A Way to Give Back’: Equestrian Team Welcomes 8-Year-Old Battling Leukemia

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This year, Cornell equestrian decided to “adopt” 8-year old equestrian superstar Maeve through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

Maeve is currently living in Ithaca and battling leukemia, and the newest member of the Red and comes to all of their events, while building strong relationships with her new teammates.

“Having Maeve around really reminds the team not only to be grateful for the opportunities that they have, but also about why we all got into this sport in the first place — the love of the horses,” said head coach Joanna Novakovic ’03.

Members of the team have attributed their success to Maeve.

“I can definitely say for myself that Maeve is motivating me in a new way, and I believe that I won on [Nov. 3] because of her presence,” said sophomore novice Indigo Pavlov.

The team has benefited greatly from the Maeve’s addition. She inspires members of Cornell to work harder, appreciate their opportunities and appreciate their lives.

“It’s been really fun seeing the girls share their sport and their horses with Maeve,” Novakovic said. “They’ve done a great job of finding ways to involve her and to make her feel at home. I hope it’s something that we can continue long-term to keep up Maeve’s spirits as well as our own.”

“This is something that everyone can get behind and can feel positive about,” Novakovic continued. “It’s a way to give back in a way that unites us all.”

Aside from inspiring the team and making them work harder, Maeve has also brought the team closer.

“Maeve is always so positive and happy when she comes to the barn, and we all want to make sure she has the best day when visiting. Her presence always lifts our spirits and brings us closer as a team,” said freshman introductory Sarah Akshar.