Life came to a sudden halt for Quincy Rohrbach, a freshly graduated 19-year-old high schooler with dreams of attending college, when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The diagnosis followed a horse-riding accident where Rohrbach hurt her shoulder. Initially believed to be a broken collarbone, an X-ray revealed a bone tumor, and further tests confirmed it to be stage 4 Osteosarcoma that had metastasized to her lungs.
Osteosarcoma, one of the three types of bone cancer, is relatively uncommon. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S., with nearly half of those being children and teenagers.
Despite the aggressive nature of her cancer, Rohrbach has been nothing but a warrior. She’s undergone countless rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, and even surgeries. She’s had her initial tumor excised and now has plates, screws, and a rod in her arm.
But the battles didn’t end there. Rohrbach had to undergo further surgery on her lungs, which had over 50 nodules. Soon after, an inoperable tumor was found in her pelvis. Even with all of this, Rohrbach keeps fighting, returning to radiation, and spending more time in the hospital than at home. Over the past year, Rohrbach has only been home for about a month.
A Community Rallying Around a Cause
Since Rohrbach received this life-altering news, close friend Kristina Matthews has been tirelessly fundraising to help Rohrbach carry out her bucket list, a compilation of dreams and experiences Rohrbach yearns for but hasn’t had the chance to fulfill yet. When Matthews started fundraising in February to help fulfill Rohrbach’s bucket list, she didn’t anticipate the overwhelming response.
Since then, the fundraiser has blown up and far surpassed its initial goal of $20,000.
On July 8th, the Pro JR/AM Equitation Challenge 3’ took place at Colorado Horse Park, all in aid of Rohrbach and Osteosarcoma Research.
But this wasn’t your average horse show. This was a fiesta-themed party complete with pint-sized pinatas and a DJ, and Rohrbach was there to celebrate and hand out the prizes.
The event kicked off with an equitation-style course designed by Chris Coleman from Arizona, with teams of professionals and juniors/amateurs competing on the same horse. The turnout exceeded all expectations, with 40 teams entering, double the number Matthews had anticipated. 20 teams rode, and the other 20 donated their entrance fees, all in support of Rohrbach.
“Everyone really came together to donate,” says Matthews. “We raised at least $40,000 for the week between the donations, the class itself, and the live auction.”
The auction that followed the class saw generous donations from Voltaire, a shipping credit, Broncos tickets, Rookies tickets, and two trips, one to Santa Fe and one to Cancun. The winning trainer and junior/amateur even received custom boots. This is just a sneak peek into the astonishing array of generously donated prizes for the cause.
Christie Singleton, from Summit Jumps, generously donated jump standards, each adorned with the symbolic Osteosarcoma ribbon. The event was awash in a sea of yellow, with attendees proudly sporting ribbons pinned to their attire, creating a vibrant and heartening visual testament of support.
But the generosity didn’t stop there. Langer Equestrian is donating $25 to the Angel Link for every clear round that is posted in the welcome classes and the Grand Prix. Littleton Equine Medical Group, who own the Colorado Horse Park, is donating $25 for every score above 80 in the International and National Derby. Jennifer Rhodes with Up and Over Farm is matching that, as well as another $25 for every 90 and above score.
“After these donations, the fund will probably be around $100,000,” says Matthews. “I had no idea, I’d never started a fundraiser before, so I just wrote the goal as $20,000. It just blew up and is so incredible to see.”
When it came to designing the winning coolers, Quincy worked with embroiderer, Betsy Hook, to create a unique design that encapsulates her two loves – horses and hockey. The design features a horse with a yellow ribbon around its neck and the rider holding a hockey stick. A perfect representation of Rohrbach’s strength and passion.
At the top of Rohrbach’s bucket list? A trip to the Maldives to witness the stunning sea of stars. She’s also recently ticked off visits to Disneyland and Catalina Island. And let’s not forget her love for hockey. The Colorado Avalanche has been exceptionally supportive, providing her with amazing tickets whenever she’s out of the hospital.
Rohrbach graced the event with her presence in a heartwarming display of resilience. She didn’t just attend; she was the star—handing out prizes and posing for winning photos. She even hit the dance floor, sharing joyous moments with everyone present.
“Everyone was there for Quincy,” said Dominic Gibbs, who competed in the event. “She had the biggest smile on her face all night long.”
Ultimately, the goal of the event was not just to raise money for Rohrbach’s bucket list but also to create awareness for this disease. Every donation is not just a contribution to a good cause, it’s a contribution to making Rohrbach’s dreams come true and creating unforgettable memories for her.
“It was the best party I think the Horse Park has ever had,” says Matthews. “I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been riding my entire life here in Colorado.”
You can donate to Quincy’s Bucket List- Beating Osteosarcoma through AngeLink.