DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — The story of a horse with a rare defect and her young handler rallied KXAN viewers and Central Texans to donate tens of thousands of dollars this spring.

More than $27,000 has been raised for Barbara on a GoFundMe page, which is enough to cover the surgery she needs. Her owner hopes they’ll be able to raise the full amount of their $39,000 goal so the horse can stay at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for a full six weeks for post-operation care.

Her caretaker, Shane Bookbinder, says the surgery, which is slated for later this week, is a second chance at life. “From there on, she could be any type of horse she wants. She could be a pleasure horse, a riding horse or a pleasure horse. Any type of horse she wants to [be].”

Barbara was born in January with a wry nose, a deformity that pulls her nose to the side making it difficult to breathe and even eat.

“The minute I saw her, I fell in love with her,” Barbara’s owner Martha Talley told KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon in April. “I just can’t see killing something, you know?”

“She’s a good friend, not just a good horse,” Shane said. “There’s more things right about her than there is wrong. She’s just super nice and she’s never tried to bite or anything.”