Valley first responder therapy program sees success, in need of more funding

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A Scottsdale organization that provided equine therapy to first responders say they saw amazing changes in those they helped, but the grant money they were using has dried up.

"This actually changed my life -- for the past five years I've suffered with PTSD," said Brian Nalley, a program participant.

Retired firefighter Brian Nalley says the equine program at Hunkapi Programs helped him immensely.

"It literally saved my life, it brought me to a location that's safe, it bought me to a place that's with other first responders to know that I'm not alone, to hear what they're going through to understand it's the battle that I'm fighting," said Nalley.

"I never understood fully the depth of the pain they experience by taking care of our pain every single day," said Terra Schaad, the founder Hunkapi Programs. "The horses really give them this arena for lack of a better word to experience, feel and begin to sense into how much stress they've been holding in the 10, 17, 30 years in the line of duty."

But the equine program, which was being funded by a grant, ran out of money. Schaad said she saw such a change in participants that she wants to see it continue.

"We're soliciting more grants, we're actively applying for grants we're going out and talking to people," said Schaad.

Her hope is to get that funding through grants and private donations to help those that have helped us.

For more information on the program and how to donate click here.