donate icon DONATE

Medinah Ladies Fashion Show Supports Nurses

Eloise, Connor, Shriner onstage

Eloise, a spine patient, explains the life-changing care she received at Shriners Children's.

The 45th annual Medinah Ladies Fashion Show featured moving patient stories and the latest spring trends, all in support of the amazing nursing care provided at Shriners Children's Chicago. It was a sunny Saturday morning for the 800 guests who gathered in an Oak Brook, Illinois, ballroom for the show. Attendees enjoyed a luncheon, followed by a presentation and a professionally produced fashion show, with the latest looks from Chicago-area stores and boutiques. The speakers included Eloise, 17, and Connor, 16, both patients of the Chicago hospital.

Eloise told the crowd that her pediatrician diagnosed an abnormal spine curve known as scoliosis, at a routine physical for sixth grade. Specialists she saw after the diagnosis believed she was mostly finished growing, which meant the curve would not need further treatment. But Eloise grew 8 more inches by eighth grade. By the time she was a freshman in high school, her curve was 55 degrees. “I started to have pain. I couldn’t stand up for long periods of time. When I’d get home from school I’d lay down for a nap,” Eloise said. This was difficult for the volleyball player and model. Her shoulders were crooked and her agency said they could not use her for modeling work.

A specialist said she needed surgery immediately, but Eloise explained to the audience that her family's insurance considered it a pre-existing condition and it would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Eloise’s mother, Kim, searched and prayed for an answer. The family even considered selling their home to pay for the complex spine surgery. At Shriners Children’s, our world-class care and services are provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay or insurance status. Within a few months, Michal Szczodry, M.D., performed a T2-L1 spinal fusion. Eloise was able to return to modeling, pageants and the sports she enjoyed. She plans to major in environmental science in college.

Eloise and Connor walking the runway

The crowd cheered when Eloise and National Patient Ambassador Connor walked the runway.


Connor, then 16, spoke about his year as a National Patient Ambassador, representing all of our patients at national events on behalf of Shriners Children's. He has been treated at the Chicago location since soon after birth, where specialists helped his mom understand how to feed him. And he has had more than 10 surgeries to correct his palate, lips, teeth, breathing and speech.

After their speeches, the music and bright lights welcomed a dozen models who showed off casual to formal looks. The crowd cheered particularly loud for the surprise runway appearance with Connor and Eloise together. Members of the Medinah Shriners escorted the models in their evening wear.

The event, organized by the wives of Medinah Shriners, raised thousands of dollars to support the Chicago Shriners Hospital. This year's beneficiaries are the nurses, and specifically nursing education materials and programs, some of which were affected by the pandemic. Some of the funds raised will help purchase updated medical models to help maintain nursing skill in starting IVs and PICC lines. They will also support training seminars to keep nurses updated with best practices in care. Thanks to all who attended this fun fashionable morning with a purpose.

Next Steps

Share Your Story

Our patients and families are at the heart of everything we do at Shriners Children's. We invite you to share how the team at Shriners Children's has helped your child.

Give to Shriners Children's

Through the generosity of donors like you, we've helped over one million children lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Contact Us

Have a question or request? Need to make an appointment? We're here for you.