Patient Ambassador Ally to Represent Shriners Children’s Philadelphia at the 2023 Shriners Children's College Classic
A Patient Ambassador and former softball player, Ally was recently selected to represent the University of Michigan baseball team as an honorary team captain in the upcoming Shriners Children's College Classic in Houston, Texas.
Ally met the team and the coach last fall, and is traveling to Houston this spring to represent them in the Shriners Children's College Classic. The Shriners Children's College Classic is a historical Astros Foundation tradition. The three-day, six-team, nine-game event continues to draw fans, top-ranked programs and scouts from every Major League organization each year. Since 2001, this prestigious event has hosted more than 30 different NCAA Division I baseball programs. The tournament is hosted at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
Ally came to Shriners Children’s Philadelphia for her first appointment in August 2017 after hearing about Shriners Children’s from her grandfather, who was also a Shriner. As suspected, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, which led to surgery a few months later in October. After her first vertebral body tethering surgery, Ally grew 5 inches and had a lot of flexibility to play softball and participate in many other physical activities for most of her high school career. From the beginning, Ally said that the hospital feels like a second home and that her family had made the right decision.
“Shriners makes me feel like I’m not at a hospital and makes feel like I’m at home," said Ally. “We knew right from the start that I was in the best hands.”
Although Ally had to return to Shriner Children’s Philadelphia in 2022 for a second spinal surgery, she was still very satisfied with her choice of care and doctor, orthopedic surgeon Steven Hwang, M.D. She also knew the possibility of different outcomes from her first surgery.
“With both surgeries, I was never scared or had any anxiety because I knew I was in the best hands. I wouldn’t want my spinal fusion done anywhere else,” said Ally. "I love Dr. Hwang- he will be my doctor forever!”
Ally also has a very good relationship with the Detroit Moslem Shriners in Novi, Michigan, near her hometown. Ally and her parents are very grateful for all the help and support the Shriners have provided. In addition to helping with all of Ally’s trips to the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital, they have also invited Ally to several Shrine events. They were also instrumental in helping Ally to have an opportunity to represent the hospital at the Shriners Children's College Classic.
“I am extremely excited and honored to represent the Philadelphia Hospital and the Detroit Shriners, said Ally. “It gives me the opportunity to show a different type of patient. I look normal, but I have hard times too.”
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