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Rising Stars: First Lady Alice Smith Fundraising Program

Rising Stars: First Lady Alice Smith Fundraising Program

Shriners International First Lady Alice Smith believes that giving our patients every possible advantage and opportunity to achieve helps them to become Rising Stars, and she is dedicated to strengthening their incredible spirits and abilities, helping them to have full, satisfying and productive lives. Your gift to the Rising Stars program will help ensure the availability of appropriate assistive devices as well as help our patients develop skills they can use for a lifetime. https://lovetotherescue.org/first-lady-program
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Everyone connected with Shriners Hospitals for children knows we provide quality compassionate care that changes kids lives. Something that is especially remarkable to me and has become very close to my heart in the time I've been associated with Shriners Hospitals is the way our wraparound care helps children throughout their medical journey. As a mother and a high school teacher I have always wanted to help young people navigate the practical side of life.

I got my first look at how Shriners Hospitals does that more than 10 years ago at the Houston location where I met a woman in the public relations department named Anna. Anna worked with patients to help them figure out how to live independently and how to make a living. Anna was full of ideas and Anna had the patient's attention. Her mother had taken thalidomide while pregnant before it was known what that drug would do. Anna was born without arms or legs. I was so inspired by Anna. She had created a rewarding career for herself and she was helping patients to do the same thing.

For many children, reaching their goals is often possible but they may need to approach them in a different way. Sometimes an assistive device can make all the difference. In my program, Rising Stars, I want to highlight the ways that Shriners Hospitals help kids realize their potential by providing assistive devices and other support. For some kids, independence means that they want to be able to feed or dress themselves. Shriners Hospitals therapists help with that by evaluating each patient individually and working to create a custom tool such as cutlery for persons with a unique hand or limb or devices to assist with dressing or grooming. Sometimes a special prosthesis can help, whether a child is dreaming of participating in sports or developing an artistic hobby.

A patient at our Spokane location named Daisy recently received a custom running foot so that she could begin training in mixed martial arts. A young music lover named Nick, who is born missing both hands, was able to play the trombone in the school band thanks to a prosthesis that would help him grip and balance the instrument. He says he likes to play the trombone and sing because he has the opportunity to stand out for his musical ability instead of his limb difference.

The feeling of being left out is something I never want a child to experience. Sometimes a patient wants to move about independently. Others want to play with their friends. Shriners Hospitals have helped kids with mobility aids such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, and even special toys such as the drivable Go Baby Go car or an adaptive bike. Our amazing health care system often works with community organizations to provide some of these special items and opportunities to our patients. We are so grateful for their support of our mission,

From the patient's very first appointment, our staff are focused on the patients and the families goals. As the children grow our doctors, nurses and therapists talk directly with them to learn what they would like to be able to do. In this way the children begin to see for themselves what they may accomplish and what they may want for themselves in the future. It's such a privilege for me to be a part of the effort to help improve the lives of children. You can help to0. Please support the Rising Stars of Shriners Hospitals for Children by purchasing a necktie, bow tie or a beautiful piece of jewelry. Donations to rising stars may also be made online. Your generosity will help give our patients every possible advantage on their journey to create full, satisfying and productive lives. On behalf of all of our inspiring rising stars I sincerely thank you.