From Cori’s Mom, Susan Sikich…
The Williamsburg community has been such an important part of our family, giving us so many fond memories and lifelong friendships. We moved here from Chicago in 1988. A Midwestern family catapulted into the deep South, it was a really big move to an unfamiliar area. I was more than a little concerned about easing my girls into the new environment.
With warmth and acceptance, we were almost immediately embraced by the community. Our children, Cori, Megan and Sara attended the local schools and were absorbed by the many activities available to kids in this area. My twins, Cori and Megan became quite proficient with their horse riding skills.
They attended Virginia Tech and Sara attended college in Los Angeles where she continues to live and work as a fashion designer. Megan is in Oahu, Hawaii working at Kualoa Ranch and teaching at a therapeutic riding center.
Though we moved away in 1996, we now find ourselves drawn back to Williamsburg by the death of our daughter, Cori. Cori developed an eating disorder while in college which she battled for seven years. On June 4, 2002 Cori passed away at twenty-five years of age. Unfortunately, this is the typical outcome of this insidious disease. In her case a heart arrhythmia developed as the result of damage to her heart from the eating disorder.
As we struggle with our loss and pain, it is a comfort to know Cori’s life can have meaning and purpose. We are determined something positive and lasting should come from both her life and death. Cori was a beautiful, talented and giving young woman whose spirit is so needed in this world today. We can no longer help Cori, but maybe we can help other children in need.
We became aware of Dream Catchers organization through friends. It has become the perfect match. Not only have we been given a chance to keep Cori’s memory and love of horses alive, but also in some small way we hope to give back to the community that has given our family so much through the years.
Watching the girls with their horses, I was able to see an extraordinary bond develop. We saw their minds expand through the increased self-confidence and responsibility, in addition to their physical development from riding. They learned how to care for another living creature. We are thrilled to help Dream Catchers provide this same opportunity for other children.