Going Beyond The FieldMay 31, 2017 -
“It was difficult at first, it’s hard to see your child in braces, and they did hurt in the beginning, the Shriners [hospital] has really benefitted me, it was great to be official for my daughter now. I come and participate in each year doing these events for other children,” Kristina Jones explained. The Shriners’ program shines a light on children who deal with orthopedic injuries, burns, cleft lip and palate, as well as spinal cord injuries. Not only have they nurtured and saved kids, but they also bring joy with personalized stockings during the Christmas season, give children the chance to meet the players, and fundraise in awesome ways.
Poppy, a charismatic eight year old has been a Shriners’ patient for six years and was born with only half an arm and at the age of two was having to learn how to use a prosthetic. It took her only a few days to learn how to use the arm and thanks to the help of Shriners’ nurses and doctors. Since the age of two Poppy has gone through five prosthetic arms and gets a new prosthetic every third visit due to Poppy growing and her prosthetic unable to grow along with her. Poppy’s mother said, “Life has always been awesome with Poppy.” Poppy plays football, soccer, and basketball. When she plays soccer she only plays with her one arm due to the silicone sleeve for her prosthetic becoming too hot to play in.
Even as the Shriners’ program helps others, their patients give back. Cooper, who was born with cerebral palsy, stills manages to collect pop cans to donate to the program which gives the Shriners’ funds for wheel chairs and crutches for other patients. Cooper, now ten, has been a patient for five years and uses a leg brace to help him walk and play at the park. The Shriners Hospital is a lifesaver for lots of families as all treatment and procedures are completely free for the families. Shriners will help families with transportation to the hospital and also pay for their hotel rooms and food. Ben has been a patient for the past three years, he was born with a condition that curves his foot upwards. When he was born his mother was self employed and did not have insurance that would cover Ben’s condition. When the family sought treatment local doctors said to fix Ben’s foot they would have to break all the bones and realign them. Ben’s family turned to the Shriners Hospital in search of a less invasive solution. The Shriners’ Orthopedics made inserts for Ben’s shoes to help him balance.
The stories from patients and their parents at the Shrine Bowl of Nebraskas’ Beyond The Field event shows not only the incredible work of Shriners and the Shriners Hospitals but also the true purpose of the game. It’s more than a game, every day Shriners, parents, and patients go beyond the field to assist those in need even when they themselves need care.
By Tessa Wiser and MacKenzie Pierson