Maura Finn of Burlington has a very full life. She has three grown children, including her daughter, Kelly, and a granddaughter. She was a teacher and has been a nurse for the past 20 years. And in the 1970s she was one of the first women to get an athletic scholarship at St. Michael's College for basketball. Now, she is in the final stages of cancer. And still, she is on the move.
"Today we are going to have a little horse and buggy ride come up Woodlawn Road and I am hoping to hop in the back-- hop might be an interesting word-- and go for a little ride. I haven't been out of the house much," she said.
Maura was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.
"The name of the cancer is leiomyosarcoma," she said. "It is a cancer that is affected by men and women. It is a smooth muscle tumor cancer, so men and women can get it."
Maura had surgery and chemo, and then more surgery and chemo. Now family, friends and nurses are on hand around the clock to help.
"So, basically it affects your brain," Maura said. "Obviously, it affects your body. Obviously, basically, it affects everything."
"And it sucks," Kelly added.
"Yeah, it sucks," Maura agreed.
So Maura is trying to grab all the fun she can, which is why this horse lover asked for one last ride. Her friend and former college basketball teammate, Jill Hackett Maxham, asked her daughter and a neighbor who has a horse farm for help.
"And I just wanted to do something special for Maura, that's all," Jill said.
So, Missy the pony and a cart were trucked down from the Champlain Islands to this Burlington neighborhood, which made Maura very excited.
"But she gets excited about everything," Jill said. "If you think of Maura, you think of her laugh and her smile-- jovial all the time. And she is a very strong person, a strong personality. So, I am glad she is excited."
Getting Maura in the cart took some doing, but no one was surprised when she grabbed the reins. This mother, nurse, athlete and friend to many, will never pass up a chance to have fun.
Reporter Judy Simpson: So, how was it?
Maura Finn: AWESOME! It was just really fun!
One more accomplishment-- Maura was also the first female firefighter for St. Michael's Rescue.
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