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Patient Alumni Network - Meet Jacob

Patient Alumni Network, meet Jacob

Former Shriners Children's patient, Jacob helps us launch our new Patient Alumni Network which allows former patients to connect and stay involved with Shriners Children's, sharing their stories. Learn more:
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Jacob Pacheco: My name is Jacob Pacheco. I am a former Shiners Children's patient. I live in Long Beach, California, Southern California, where the weather and the beaches are nice.

I'm deeply honored to be part of the Patient Alumni Network celebrating Shiners Children's 100 year anniversary.

I was born with a physical disability called spastic cerebral palsy. I was diagnosed at six months of age, and so my family and I basically lived with this condition throughout my entire life. But when I was younger, my condition got pretty severe and my family and I were looking for some answers and we happened to find Shiners Children's, and we came here when I was about six years old, all the way through until I was about 16.

The rehabilitation isn't a straight path. It's really important to take the lessons you learn at a young age and apply them to your later life as an adult. I actually became a professional surfer, a speaker, that I get to travel the world, and kind of promote this message of inclusion, community, and love. I've learned that those lessons never apply moreso than in the ocean as a surfer, because a wave in the ocean is going to come at you one way or another, and you have to learn how to deal with it. You have a lot of different choices to make. You can either let life happen to you, you can go around different obstacles and challenges, or you can ride them out and see how it goes. I prefer to ride them out or move around them because I think that's a little bit more fun, but I think those life lessons are very, very important that we can all apply to our own journeys. It leads to a lot of fulfillment in inner peace.

What makes Shiners Children's so special is the amount of support and care that you get when you walk through those doors, not just from the doctors, but from the support staff, the Shriners that are there to greet you in the waiting room, the nurses who are there to help take care of you, that's what I think differentiates the hospital more than most.

To any patients or families who are inside Shiners Children's right now, I have one thing to say to you. One step at a time, one day at a time. I know it might be hard right now, but it will get better. Just keep a smile on your face and keep moving forward.

Are you a previous Shiners Children's patient? If you are click them link below to join our network.