By Sophie Pappas and Julie Kennedy
Earlier this year, Abigail Boldt, a 15-year-old cancer patient from Zionsville, donated funds to create an equestrian-themed pediatric hospital room at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. Boldt was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last October, and has since resolved to give back to the children’s hospital where she is currently receiving treatment.
On July 29, the equestrian room was decorated after Boldt worked side-by-side with an interior designer for eight months to bring her equestrian room to life.
For Boldt, horses have always been a source of comfort, and she hopes the equestrian-themed room will offer that same comfort to other children who are cared for at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.
“In that time I was in the hospital I was walking in the hallway and I noticed some of the rooms weren’t decorated like the room I was in and I inquired about decorating a room…and they said sure,” Boldt said. “To decorate the room cost $25,000, and also I had to collect the items to decorate the room. I had a lot of people from my barn where I ride horses donate items, also other people from the equestrian community, along with some of my items.”
She began riding horses at the age of six and has performed in more than 20 show-jumping competitions with her 13-year-old horse, Pete. It is her family and friends in the equestrian community that rallied with Boldt to raise the funds to transform the pediatric hospital room into a horse-lovers dream.
“It’s just comforting to go see my horse … He always makes me feel better no matter the kind of day I’m having,” Boldt said. “I just hope that [the equestrian room]makes [patients]feel more comfortable and especially since horses are such a comforting animal to me … just help them so that they feel comfortable as well.”
Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent currently has 12 themed rooms that have been donated by local organizations and individuals. Other room designs at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent include: Five Peyton Manning rooms; a hot air balloon room; a super hero room; a Dan Wheldon room; an Indiana Pacers and Fever room; and a cheerleader room.