Imagine being a freshman in high school and simply collapsing with no rhyme or reason. Walking, running, jumping; no matter what he was doing, Jonathan Crotsenberg-Fraser, just went down. His parents took him to several doctors without much success – until they were referred to Shriners Hospital for Children — Twin Cities. On their first visit to the hospital, Dr. Cary Mielke, chief of staff, diagnosed Jonathan with bowed legs and assured his family that he not only knew what was wrong, but he also knew how to fix it. Jonathan has had three surgeries on his legs to help straighten them, which involved cutting the tibia bones in both legs and adding a wedge, plates and screws.
Despite all those painful surgeries, Jonathan says he enjoyed his hospital stays at the Twin Cities Hospital.
“The nurses were great and didn’t judge me as I couldn’t and still can’t swallow pills. They were so nice and understanding,” he recalls. “They would crush up my pills and put it into pudding for me. It helped me so much, even if I no longer enjoy pudding.”
Despite his physical difficulties, Jonathan never stopped giving back to his community, which is why he was chosen as a 2015 winner of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities Rainbow of Hope award. The 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.
Jonathan is active in FFA, where he served as president of the Kickapoo Club, as well as serving as president of the Richland County Junior Leaders 4-H Club. He is an active volunteer at his church and has gone on three mission trips. He participates in the Cards for Veterans program as well as donates to the Christmas Shoe Box International program.
Jonathan volunteers with Feed My Starving Children and the Interhope Orphanage Sponsor a Child and Orphanage program. He plays games with residents at Pine Valley and Our House Assisted Living Center.
In 2014 Jonathan received the 4-H Leaders Award for Richland County, his involvement in his community is very important to him, as evidenced by the fact that his family was chosen as 4-H Family of the Year.
Jonathan will attend Fox Valley Technical College’s Farm Operations Program this fall. His goal is to run his family farm, which is located in Viola, Wisconsin.&
As he accepted his Rainbow of Hope award, Jonathan stated, “I cannot thank everyone involved at the Twin Cities hospital enough. They gave me my life back and are helping me fulfill my dream of being a farmer on our family farm. I can walk, run, jump without any issues. I am pain-free. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole family thanks you. Shriners Hospital was a blessing and an answer to my prayers. And to anyone out there I want to say never give up, Stay Strong! Stay Positive! Today is day one of the rest of your life! Make the most out of each day!”