Pony helps children survive treatment after struggling to survive herself

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Kristen Dahlgren, NBC NewsYou may have watched Big Brown try for the Triple Crown this weekend, but we want to tell you about another hero of the horse world. Molly the pony will likely never win a race, but this little survivor is sure to win your heart.

Just outside New Orleans lives one of Katrina's most amazing survival stories. Her sweet, brown eyes show no sign of what she's been through. But the fact Molly is standing here is nothing short of incredible.

Her story starts with the storm; as thousands fled, Molly was left behind. "I don't know how she even survived that," said Kaye Harris, Molly's new owner.

Weeks later, Harris brought her to a place where Harris was saving abandoned animals. But one of the rescued dogs attacked Molly. "She had wounds on all four legs," Harris said.

Harris was told there was no hope. Horses rarely survive when they lose use of a leg. "The opposite leg, the hoof gets laminitis. That's why it's rare. It's what happened to Barbaro," Harris explained.

But this little long shot wasn't done living. Her spirit convinced doctors at LSU to operate. "Something about her -- just has the will to live, period," said prosthetist Dwaine Mara.

Mara, who had never made a prosthetic for anything but a human, designed a new pony leg. In a sense, it gave Molly a new beginning. "It's about what you do with your survival. It's about what you do with your life!" Harris said.

What Molly's doing is giving back to children who know pain. At New Orleans children's hospital she stands patiently, sending Steven off to chemo with a smile, teaching Hollie that a cast isn't always that bad, and giving hope where it is sometimes hard to find.

For a little while, these children's eyes show no sign of what they've been through, only love for another survivor: the little pony with a higher purpose.

Kaye Harris is now trying to raise money to bring Molly around the country. You can get more information on how to donate by clicking the related link.

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