'Cowboy for a Cure' Rides through Lehigh Valley

Johnny Warnshuis is riding horseback across country to raise awareness for Guillain Barré syndrome.

A funny thing happened on a drive along Tilghman Street in Lehigh County Tuesday afternoon.

Patch came across Johnny Warnshuis, a Cowboy for a Cure, as he rode his horse east -- and led another -- along Tilghman Street in Upper Macungie, crossing into South Whitehall. 

Warnshuis, 45, of California, is riding horseback across the country to raise awareness for Guillain Barré syndrome, a rare disorder that attacks the peripheral nervous system. It is characterized by an increasing weakness of the legs and arms.

Warnshuis began his journey from California in March 2011 with $40 and some supplies, after his mother was diagnosed with the condition. So far, he has travelled 4,300 miles, relying on the kindness and support of strangers.

He hit a snag in the summer when he broke an ankle while traveling through the Hershey area, then resumed his trip Oct. 5.

Stopping briefly to talk to Patch, he said he is making his way to Times Square in New York, where he plans to marry his fiancee, Sherree Hogg.

Hogg runs the "Cowboy for a Cure" website and manages donations.

Warnshuis said he planned to spend Tuesday night at Willow Brook farms in Northampton before continuing on.

According to his website, he plans to reach New York by Nov. 8.


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