After Rodger Howell was told he had five weeks to live, he gave away everything he had and set off in a horse and wagon to visit his children and grandchildren one last time.
More than a year later, Howell continues to travel the country by wagon and credits his simplified lifestyle and the hundreds of generous people he has met along the way with keeping him alive, despite his heart and kidney disease.
"It has shown me that the majority of people in this world are good, caring people. It's not what you'd think if you only went by what's in the news. Of all the people I've met, only seven I've had no use for and five of them were cops," says the Erin, Tenn., farrier.
Howell, 63, was in Marion County, Fla., over the weekend, on his way to visit his brother who lives in Daytona Beach. It didn't take long for him to find a horse country resident willing to open their doors to him. Only a few miles into the county along U.S. Highway 27, Howell encountered Joy Rodak.
"I was on my way out and was checking the mail when I saw him coming down the road. I thought his horses looked tired so I told him he was welcome to use the empty paddock to rest his horses," says Rodak, who owns Waltz Awhile Saddlebreds.
After Howell told her a bit about his journey, she offered him a place to sleep for the weekend.
"From what he has told me, it really is a testament to the power of prayer," Rodak says.