Image of Bridget
Cancer survivor Gloria Harper with plush pony Mike at one of many doctor's visits.

Plush pony plays ‘crucial part’ in cancer survivor’s recovery

Learn how a Wells Fargo plush pony helped one woman battle cancer — and how to order this year’s ponies.

November 1, 2017

In November 2016, Camille Harper learned that her mother, Gloria, had been diagnosed with cancer. After hearing the devastating news, a fellow team member gave Harper a Wells Fargo plush pony, Mike, as a gift for her mother.

“Never did I think this single act of kindness would serve a greater purpose, but Mike comforted my mom during one of the scariest times in her life,” said Harper, a Wells Fargo Employee Relations consultant in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mike was with Gloria every step of the way as she went through chemotherapy, surgery to remove a tumor, and radiation. “Often, she would unconsciously just brush him with her hand,” recalled Harper. “When I asked why she was doing this, she said it was relaxing and soothing ― and it helped with her stress. During those dark days, anything that would help her was welcomed.”

Recently, Gloria was given the news that she is now cancer-free. “Never discount the value or worth of something because of how small it is,” said Harper. “I never would have imagined this pony would play such a crucial part in my mom’s recovery, but it did. I am forever grateful to my colleague who first thought of my mom, and to Wells Fargo for giving us access to Mike the pony.”

Bridget and Mike ride into town

Established in 2003, the annual plush pony tradition honors pony express, wagon, and stagecoach horses that helped Wells Fargo serve customers in thousands of communities.

“Not only are the plush ponies a fun and positive way to celebrate Wells Fargo’s rich history,” said Barbara Yager, manager of the plush pony program, “but, when given away, they elicit a sentiment of caring for one and all. I’m excited to announce this year’s plush pony, Bridget, is now available for ordering — along with an old friend.”

Bridget, Wells Fargo’s 18th plush pony, received the most votes from team members to represent the company for the 2017 holiday season — earning her a spot in Wells Fargo’s much-loved and iconic plush pony lineup. The real-life Bridget started pulling the Wells Fargo wagon in 1894 by dropping off and picking up packages in Phoenix. Her intelligence and willingness to work made her a favorite at the Wells Fargo stables and earned her extra treats ― and a place in team members’ hearts.

Plush pony Mike (2016) is back and also available for purchase. The plush ponies will be available until supplies run out. Order a plush pony through the online Wells Fargo Museum Store or by visiting a Wells Fargo History Museum near you.

To see biographies and photos of all the past plush ponies or to access children’s activity books (available in Chinese, English, and Spanish), visit the plush pony page on the Wells Fargo History site.

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