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Finding Love for Faith

“I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.”

These powerful words from the well-known FOREIGNER song, re-released four years ago, benefit Shriners Children’s, and the band continues to support Shriners Children’s locations with their concert sales. Recently, Faith, an 11-year-old Patient Ambassador at Shriners Children’s Erie, learned about the song. She and her identical twin, Hope, were singing those verses all summer, not knowing a musical surprise was in the wings.

The pathway to Shriners Children’s care does not always follow a straight line. After having two young children, Faith’s parents were surprised to find out that they were four months pregnant with twins! This unexpected news took a frightening turn when scans revealed the twins were not getting an even amount of nutrients, as evidenced by the uneven amounts of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, where the babies grow in utero. This serious and rare condition, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, affects twins that share a placenta and network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen for development. There was a high risk of losing one or both babies. They chose an experimental treatment that cauterized shared vessels in the placenta, and quickly the amniotic fluid levels balanced.

Thankfully, the twins were born without complications. Yet as time passed, Faith experienced delays in her developmental milestones. While her sister was walking, Faith resorted to getting around on her knees. Though her parents sought answers and worked with local therapists to improve her mobility, medical providers disagreed on her diagnosis.

Everyone goes out of their way to make your child and their sibling feel special, and we drive past many other healthcare locations to come to Erie for this experience.
Brian, Faith's father

Faith’s family attended a masonic picnic at the lodge where her father is a member. A fellow lodge member suggested an appointment for Faith at Shriners Children’s in Erie. Months later, Shriners visited the lodge and discussed the high-quality care provided by Shriners Children’s, the healthcare system that members of Shriners International support. These interactions placed Faith’s family on the road from Pittsburgh to Erie.

The family was not only amazed with the quality of care, but also in the exceptional way the staff treats their family: with love! Faith’s father, Brian, mentioned, “Everyone goes out of their way to make your child and their sibling feel special, and we drive past many other healthcare locations to come to Erie for this experience.”

Now armed with understanding and the diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy, their orthopedic team started a treatment plan that included botulinum toxin therapy and casting. Faith quickly progressed to walking with feet flat and without pain. Botulinum toxin treatment is a temporary injectable therapy option to reduce muscle spasticity. For a child with limited movement, pain or discomfort, it can safely provide relief.

Faith’s family now includes two Shriners: her father, Brian, and her older brother, Brian Jr., whom at age 18, was recently welcomed into Shriners International. They are committed to the Shriners Children’s healthcare system that helped Faith, and are active members of Syria Shriners, attending local and regional events.

At the end of July, Faith and her family attended a FOREIGNER concert. Faith was totally surprised when she met with the members of the band, and proudly showed them her homemade poster displaying photos of her Shriners Children’s experience and her fraternal family. Once the concert started and the band sang I Want To Know What Love Is, they pointed to Faith. It was a meaningful memory for the entire family, because for Faith and her family, love is the care they receive at Shriners Children’s Erie.

Shriners Children's Helps Define Love

Faith, an 11-year-old Patient Ambassador at Shriners Children's Erie, had the opportunity to connect with FOREIGNER recently and share how Shriners Children's has shown her and her family what love really is.

Faith in car

Always representing Shriners Children's, Faith wore her favorite hat on the first day of school.

Faith holding FOREIGNER albums

For a special surprise, Faith was able to go backstage to meet the band.

Faith, her family and Foreigner band members, Faith holding sign reading "Thank you for showing us what love is"

Faith and her family were thrilled to share a little of their Shriners Children's experience with the band through a special photo board they created.

Faith holding "I Want To Know What Love Is" T-shirt

Faith got a T-shirt at the concert featuring the lyrics to her new favorite song.

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