Update from the Minneapolis hospital summer programs:
A couple of weeks ago, we held our first ever Adaptive Water Ski Event. 25 patients joined us for a fun-filled adventure. We really had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be a wonderful and thrilling experience. Kids with all kinds of diagnoses joined us. To get out of your wheelchair and experience the thrill of water skiing was something one patient told me resulted in “the very best time of my life!” Her father drove this patient all the way from Nebraska for a 2-hour event. How awesome is that! The Shockwaves water ski club provided the volunteers and the equipment. They were amazed (and a little shocked) at how athletic our patients are. They have told us next year we will have two boats going — one for adaptive skiing with the chair and another boat dedicated to learning to ski. We did have two patients try the water skiing and, let me tell you, one 10-year old girl tried for over 30 minutes to get up on skis and her perseverance never wavered. At one point the driver yelled out “How is your tank?” she yelled back, “Full, totally full!” She did make it up for a few seconds and you could see the look of pride and accomplishment on her face. This was a day filled with lots of attempts, strong wills and ultimately many successes; kids that started out perhaps fearful and a bit intimidated, but came out conquerors. By many accounts, they had the time of their lives!
Last week, the hospital was full of middle school hormones as we hosted the Camp Achieve for the 9 -13 year olds. We had 24 kids attend, although a few could only be here for some of the days. We had four new campers join us and they were welcomed with open arms and big smiles. The way these campers welcome new kids to the camp is a real pleasure to witness. We started the week off by going to Fort Snelling Park for a day with Wilderness Inquiry. Learning about trees, checking water pollution, and canoeing were all a part of the adventure. Tuesday brought us to Lake Nokomis for Log Rolling. We had some “naturals” in the group as well! In fact so good, we were asked to come to the state fair and be demonstrators for the Log Rolling Club! The kids are very excited. We headed back to the hospital and had lots of activities out in the back yard and on the patio along with the rehab department. Wednesday, we headed to Wisconsin for some trout fishing. The campers caught 295 pounds of trout in 2 hours! While on a break from fishing (before they brought the Rod and Gun club to bankruptcy!), the kids laid on the docks and the bank and tried to catch the trout without a pole! Jordan was the king of “pole-less fishing,” he caught one in his “regular hand” and one with his prosthetic arm! Everyone was so impressed. And how fun to watch the kids cheer him on. Some kids brought home the fish and most parents were excited… maybe a few looks at staff of why??? Then one exchange between a mom and her son Mom: “Did you bring some home?” Son: “No mom, dad is busy this week so I didn’t think I should.” Mom: “Are you kidding me? Who cooked the fish last time??” Son: “Oh sorry mom… next year I promise.” Thursday we headed to Vertical Endeavors, where the kids were really challenged as they headed up many walls or worked on the slack line. Again, having the kids cheer and encourage each other is so great to see.
This brings to a close to the camp programs for the summer. It has been fun, exciting, rewarding for all, maybe a bit hectic, but always well worth it! Numerous kids’ lives were hopefully transformed for the better. Hopefully they learned a lot, gained some confidence, made new friends, and definitely challenged themselves. That is what all the camps and the extra events were designed to do. I know I challenged myself(!) and the kids have once again taught me more about preserving and positive attitudes than they will ever know.
So for 2018, that is a wrap of our camp season. Until next summer!
The Shriners Hospital for Children–Twin Cities held its eighth annual prom on Saturday, April 7. The night is a highlight for patients and staff alike.
Thank you to all who were involved in making this a special event — especially the Minnesota School of Cosmetology for setting up a pre-prom salon, where all prom attendees were invited to get free hair, nails, and makeup done.
Teens who have endured a variety of surgeries and treatments for orthopedic conditions throughout childhood were able to forget about their special needs for the evening and experience going to prom.
Patients even traveled from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin to attend.
We're already looking forward to next year!
Michael Varro came to Shriners Hospitals for Children–Twin Cities after he was born with an underdeveloped foot. At the age of 11, he had to have his leg amputated. Since that day, he's become an inspiration to so many — working as a prosthetist for wounded soldiers and representing the USA in paralympic rowing. He says it is his positive experiences with staff and other patients at the hospital that led him on his journey to success.
Before and after his amputation, Michael worked with a prosthetist, Todd, to develop his prosthetic leg, which would allow him to walk again and participate in the activities he loved. He has now followed that dream and has become a prosthetist himself and is currently working for the VA Hospital in Lake Nona, Florida.
While Michael wished he could have served in the military himself, he was disqualified due to his amputation. But with great pride he says, "In a really cool way, I found this career and get to serve those that served, which -- in many ways -- fills my heart more than I could have hoped for."
Thank you to ALL YOU BUTTER LOVERS who donated for the delicious sugar cookies for the Corned Beef & Cabbage Feed!
The Hospital office would like to extend a thank you to everyone who donates their time and energy to benefit the patients and families we serve. WIthout your help, the things we do would not be possible.
We also extend another thank you to St. Joan of Arc School for donating a large number of snack bags to the office. Their thoughtfulness is truly appreciated by our drivers.
Noble Paul Bohannon is honored for his work with the Nebraska Spina Bifida organization.
Read the story here.
Congratulations to our tree winners from the inaugural Feztival of Trees!
Use these links to shop and a portion of your purchase will be donated to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children!
Surprise your friends and family with extraordinary gifts, and play a part in helping provide life-changing care to children through the healing power of love.
Here is an article I received from the current owner of one of the old Tangier Corvettes. Read the article here.
Tangier Shrine • 2823 S. 84 Street • Omaha, NE 68124402-392-0404 • Fax: 402-392-2208