Emily Beck of Minot, N.D., has been chosen as a recipient of a 2015 Rainbow of Hope award from Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. This award is given each year to three current or former patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. Winners are recognized for contributions they have made to their communities or schools and for overcoming life’s challenges. Simply put, they are considered role models in their communities. Each winner receives a cash prize and his or her name is placed on the Rainbow of Hope plaque displayed in the hospital’s main lobby.
The Rainbow of Hope program was started in 1998 by former Board of Governors member Bill Ash, Osman Shrine, and former director of orthotics and prosthetics Todd Anderson. Although both of these men have since passed away, they would take pride in knowing this program continues to recognize and reward deserving patients.
Eight years ago, Emily was diagnosed with scoliosis. After years of appointments to see multiple doctors that all had different opinions and unaffordable treatment options, Emily’s family was referred to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. It was at that point Emily felt she started down a road towards better health due to the kindness of the hospital staff and high-quality care available for her scoliosis. For several years her family traveled from Minot to the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital so that her condition could be monitored. Eventually Emily’s scoliosis reached the point where she had to have spinal fusion surgery in 2012.
Emily recalls, “It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but I know I am stronger because of it. I now marvel at my surgeon’s abilities and remember the incredible kindness of the staff who cared for me afterwards. What Shriners did for me was truly a gift that can’t be described or thanked enough for.”
Emily graduated from high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and was a member of the band, FFA, National Honor Society, Science Club, tennis team, and 4-H Club. Emily works summers at the North Central Research Extension Center, researching the latest in agriculture practices. She is currently a student at the University of Minnesota and is majoring in neuroscience with plans to go into a medical field. Emily also works on campus as a research assistant in the psychiatry department. She has chosen a path in medicine because she was inspired by everyone at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
As she accepted her Rainbow of Hope award, Emily stated, “After my surgery and recuperation, I felt more confident, capable and excited about new opportunities. No longer did I feel physically limited. Thank you for not only reshaping my spine, thank you for reshaping my future.”