Raleigh, N.C. — Sadie Lynn was only about 6 years old when she started learning to trick ride horses in Texas. Years later, a trick riding accident helped save her life.
In 2010, Carter, then 18, fell off of her horse during a show for a school group.
"I missed my trick. Just being really relaxed and not on my game," Lynn said. The horse dragged Lynn across the arena until the strap finally broke.
"I don't remember too much. I remember seeing the ground and the sky," she said.
Lynn broke all of her ribs, separated her sternum and had internal bleeding. Still, she performed with the "Chicks" during their scheduled rodeo appearance that weekend.
"As I was healing I felt like there was something that wasn't right," she said.
Doctors found what they thought was a cyst in her breast. A lumpectomy revealed a rare form of breast cancer.
"For awhile, I didn't want to do anything or tell anyone," Lynn said.
Because a biopsy wasn't performed prior to surgery and doctors were unable to clear the margins of how far the cancer spread, Lynn wasn't a candidate for chemotherapy or radiation.
Every three months, she gets tests run to ensure that the cancer hasn't returned.
At 22, Lynn remains healthy and uses her position as a trick rider to help others.
As part of the All American Cowgirl Chicks, Lynn helps raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project, breast cancer charities and the Cancer Care Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Sadie's mother, Trish, formed the All American Cowgirl Chicks in 1999, after training and learning the ropes from legendary cowboy JW Stoker. The trick riding crew is very much a family affair - with her four daughters involved. The group's history of philanthropy started when the team got together to raise money for a good friend who was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw.
"We will always be involved with charities," Trish Lynn said.
Trish Lynn has called her daughter's accident a "blessing in disguise." She and her family have tried to use Lynn's story to encourage others to be more aware of their bodies and potential problems no matter what age you are.
"Get a second opinion," Trish Lynn said.
The All-American Cowgirl Chicks will be performing at the World's Toughest Rodeo at PNC Arena on Saturday, Jan. 17.