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Lu-Na’s Amazing Shriners Children's Journey

Meet Lu-Na

Lu-Na’s mother, Laura, remembers seeing the Shriners in her Florida hometown while growing up, but admits that all she knew was that the Shriners International fraternal organization did “something good.”

Years later, she and her family would learn just how much good they do, especially for children.

When Laura and her husband were in the process of adopting Lu-Na from China, they learned that she had a limb difference. They were also told that the tibia bone in her right leg was missing, and there was a strong possibility she would need surgery. Despite these challenges, the family decided to continue the adoption process, and when she was 2, Lu-Na would eventually have her right leg amputated below the knee.

While Lu-Na was healing from her amputation, Laura learned about Shriners Children's and their mission of caring for and helping transform the lives of children around the world. They were living in New York at the time, and the closest location was Shriners Children’s Philadelphia.

Laura quickly called the facility and said that becoming a patient was an easy process for Lu-Na. “We made an appointment, and we were off and running – literally,” she said. The Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) department would soon provide Lu-Na with her first prosthesis.

We made an appointment, and we were off and running – literally
Laura, Lu-Na's mom

She was awestruck by how the drivers from Long Island, New York, would wake up early, drive to Brooklyn to pick her and Lu-Na up, and then drive two hours to Shriners Children’s in Philadelphia. She remembers how these volunteers would patiently wait, sometimes all day, and then drive them the two-hour journey back home. “That has been one of the more extraordinary things I think I've experienced being a part of the Shriners family, and it took a lot of stress off of me as a parent,” Laura said.

When Lu-Na’s father accepted a job offer in Houston in 2017, the family had to move across the country. However, transferring Lu-Na’s care was easy due to the amazing staff that took over her care at Shriners Children's Texas.

Since moving to Texas, Lu-Na has had opportunities to participate in multiple day camps, meet-and-greets, and patient activities. She has met and played with the University of Texas basketball team, and attended Camp for All in Burton, Texas. Currently, she is looking forward to attending Camp Love Without Limits this year, where she hopes to be the first in line for zip lining.

Laura loves the opportunities that Lu-Na has had since arriving at Shriners Children’s Texas, because they allow her to enjoy being a kid without having to explain her prosthetic. “Nobody has to ask any questions, and everybody just gets on with having fun,” she said.

Like many children, Lu-Na enjoys all school subjects, but has a special love for recess and PE. She does not go easy on her prosthetic, either. She is on a local softball team and is always full of energy. She said she has lost screws from her prosthetic while playing basketball, and has worn out the leather padding under her prosthetic foot three times. “Thankfully, I’m getting a new one soon,” said Lu-Na.

patient with jersey and softball bat

Lu-Na (pictured) began playing softball as a young child and quickly became a star on her local teams.

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