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Patients and Families Give Thanks this Holiday Season

Gratitude and thanks take center stage across the United States this month as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. During this season of gratitude, Shriners Children’s physicians and staff are thankful to patients and families for the opportunity we have to support them with care every day.

We asked our patients and families to share what they are thankful for this holiday season. Their answers ranged from love and support to care and medical expertise.


Drew on basketball court


Shriners Children's Chicago

“Drew was only 16 months old when our lives changed forever. Our second child unexpectedly crashed to the floor, paralyzed. We went to two different hospitals to confirm the diagnosis was transverse myelitis, a rare neuro-immunological disorder that can cause partial paralysis and affect a child’s ability to move. In 2010 we were introduced to Shriners Children’ Chicago where his care began with spinal cord injury specialists. The Chicago hospital’s recreational therapy program includes an indoor wheelchair basketball court in the large Patient Activity Mall where Drew would play on the court every night. Now at 16 Drew faces his challenges with courage and perseverance. He is a competitive wheelchair basketball player, thanks to the early exposure to the sport at Shriners Children’s, and a talented artist. We are so grateful.”

– John and Liz, Drew’s parents

Kira with family


Shriners Children's Portland

“At a time when we were confused with what was happening with Kira and how her pain was affecting her dancing, Shriners Children’s Portland and orthopedic surgeon Michelle Welborn, M.D., provided answers, treatment and care that we didn’t even know we needed. Thanks to Dr. Welborn, Kira is back to dancing after a spinal fusion and doing better than we ever thought!”

– Beth, Kira’s mom



Shriners Children's Salt Lake City

Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City holds a special place in my heart because I have received care here since I was a baby. I was born with thrombocytopenia-absent radius (TAR) syndrome, which affects how bones develop. It affected my arms and caused me to be born without a knee. When I was 3 years old, I had surgery to address this and have had a prosthetic leg ever since. Shriners Children’s gives me the confidence to do everything I love, like dance! I danced on my high school drill team for four years and even competed at a state drill competition. I will never forget the feeling of walking off the floor after the routine. I am so grateful to Shriners Children’s for making a difference in my life.”

– Taylor

Alex with family


Shriners Children's Spokane

"This year, I’m thankful to do my favorite activities and hobbies thanks to the care I receive at Shriners Children’s Spokane. As a fourth-generation Shriners Children’s patient, myself and my family are very grateful to have the care we need so close to home. It allows me to be me and do all the things I love.”

– Alex

Emery with family


Shriners Children's Northern California

“After Emery’s Holt-Oram syndrome diagnosis, we didn’t know what to do, who to contact or where to turn for help. A friend recommended we contact Shriners Children’s. We submitted a self-referral to Shriners Children’s Northern California and within days, we had an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Claire Manske, M.D. Dr. Manske is one of the most amazing people we’ve ever met and she is an exceptional doctor. She gave us a plan and executed on that plan flawlessly! From our very first appointment, everyone has treated us like family. We are so thankful for Dr. Manske, the pediatric hand team, and the love and care we continue to receive at Shriners Children’s.”

– Valerie, Emery’s mother

Arlo with family


Shriners Children's Lexington

“Finding out Arlo was born missing his fibula and would need an amputation was scary for us, but we are thankful to have been surrounded by love and support at Shriners Children’s Lexington. From our very first visit, we were met with smiles, warmth and the type of expertise that puts you at ease. Shriners Children’s has felt like our second home ever since. Not only is our son thriving but he has also been given amazing opportunities. Because of the support of this organization, our family will forever be indebted and thankful — not only because of the financial support, which is life-changing, but because of the relationships and experiences we have gained over the years."

– Emily, Arlo’s mom

Forrest with mom and dad


Shriners Children's Ohio

“This Thanksgiving, we are especially thankful for the team at Shriners Children’s Ohio. Not only have they provided excellent care for Forrest’s burn, they also make sure as parents, we are comfortable and understand the healing process. We are so glad to be part of the Shriners family.”

– Tori, Forrest’s mother

Rodrigo with mm and dad


Hospital Shriners para Niños México

Hospital Shriners para Niños México never leaves our minds and hearts. We are very grateful to all the staff for helping Rodrigo lead a normal, healthy life. Rodrigo has received prosthetics from Hospital Shriners para Niños México since he was a year old. Rodrigo turned 7 this year and he loves his prosthesis. The technicians always incorporate his favorite characters into the design. Rodrigo is now playing with his friends and practicing his favorite sport – soccer!”

– Alejandra, Rodrigo's mother

Macie with family


Shriners Children's Philadelphia

Our daughter, Macie, is doing well thanks to everyone at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia. We’re thankful she can continue playing softball, thanks to the exceptional care she received for her scoliosis. Macie has really missed softball, and it has been difficult for her to watch the game from the sideline. Luckily, she will be back to play and has full mobility and flexibility of her spine! This is possible because of the amazing doctors and Shriners Children’s team that help children like Macie every day! If Macie couldn't play softball it would take a huge toll on her mental health. She thrives on the softball field. It is truly her love and passion and we are so grateful to Shriners Children’s for helping her to continue to do what she loves!

– Michelle, Macie's mom

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