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Active College Student Credits Lifestyle to Care at Shriners Children’s Lexington

Grayson lives life to the fullest thanks to prosthetics care.

When Grayson was 15 months old, he met his parents while living in an orphanage in Ukraine.

His mom and dad were ready to adopt, but knew Grayson, who was born without a femur, making his right leg significantly shorter than his left leg, would need specialized medical care.

Grayson’s mom, Cecille, knew who to call, though.

Eric Miller, manager of Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services at Shriners Children’s Lexington, was there to help. Eric told Grayson's family to get X-rays, but in the early 2000s, the options to send that type of information and documents were limited.

Grayson’s parents got the X-rays at a small hospital in Ukraine, then held them up to the sun and snapped a photo with a digital camera. They sent the photo from an internet cafe and Shriners Children's Lexington doctors quickly confirmed Grayson’s diagnosis, and also confirmed that they could help.

When Grayson arrived in the U.S. with his parents, they weighed their options for treatment with their team in Lexington, and decided on surgery to remove part of his foot and rework his ankle to suit a prosthetic leg.

Because of Shriners, I am able to have a normal life, enjoying everything to my fullest ability. They have literally given me the legs to be my fullest self.
Grayson, Kentucky

Today, thanks to some help from the Shriners Children's Lexington care team and a lot of personal perseverance, Grayson lives a full and active lifestyle. Now 19, he has tried a little bit of everything, from swimming to football, soccer, basketball, baseball and cross-country running. He’s been active in 4-H and enjoys shooting sports. Grayson is an Eagle Scout and enjoys rock climbing, hiking, bicycling and skiing. He is currently in college, studying to pursue a career in construction management.

“Shriners Children’s Lexington has been a part of my life from the very beginning,” Grayson said. “Because of Shriners, I am able to have a normal life, enjoying everything to my fullest ability. They have literally given me the legs to be my fullest self. I am forever grateful for Shriners and everything they have done for me.”

Grayson’s parents agree. “Shriners has always been really good to us,” Cecille said. “We came because we trusted Eric, but we have been blessed by the amount of care, compassion and genuine concern from the staff over the years.”

Cecille said the medical center has always made it easy for Grayson to get the care he needs, especially remaining accessible at any time to make adjustments to his prosthetics for comfort, fit and function. “It’s never, ‘Let me see what we can do,’” Cecille said. “It’s always, ‘Come on in and we’ll get it fixed.’ They have bent over backwards for us.”

For Grayson’s family, one of the biggest benefits has been not having to worry about the cost of his care.

“Especially in this day and age, with the way insurance is, and with my husband being self-employed, we pay a lot of money for our insurance,” Cecille said. “We are conscious of when we go to the doctor and of the cost associated. We’ve never had to be that way with Grayson’s care at Shriners, though.

“We’re so thankful for Shriners because we’ve been able to get above and beyond what Grayson needs. We don’t think twice about the cost because Shriners takes care of us, and at the same time, the quality of the care and the quality of the providers far surpasses anywhere else.”

Grayson was chosen as one of the Patient Ambassadors throughout the country to represent the healthcare system at the Shriners Children's Open, where he will serve as a Standard Bearer throughout the weekend, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “inside the ropes” opportunity at a PGA TOUR event, as well as the chance to share how Shriners Children’s has helped transform his life. We cannot wait to see him out on the greens alongside other patients representing the Shriners Children's mission.

Grayson Enjoys Life to the Fullest

Grayson has used a prosthetic leg since he was a toddler, and thanks to care at Shriners Children's Lexington, has been able to remain active in outdoor sports like rock climbing, skiing and hiking.

Grayson skiing

Pictured: Grayson skiing. One of Grayson's favorite activities is skiing. He uses adaptive equipment that helps him ski using his prosthetic leg.

Grayson with young patient

Grayson is passionate about being an advocate for people with disabilities, especially younger children like Arlo, who are shown here during a recent holiday card photo session at Shriners Children's Lexington.

Grayson hiking

Grayson taking a hike with his family

Grayson fishing

Pictured: Grayson fishing. Grayson enjoys any outdoor sports, and using a prosthetic leg has not limited him from enjoying his passions.

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