More Than Just A Game
2022 East-West Shrine Bowl Patient Ambassadors
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National Patient Ambassador

Sydney learned she had scoliosis when she was 10. Her treatment began with bracing, but despite a strict exercise regimen and wearing her brace 23 hours a day for 1½ years, her curvature progressed. Searching for an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, Sydney and her family learned about the Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) treatment option. Now 16, Sydney loves playing the oboe and saxophone in the school band, and enjoys painting and swimming. Meet Sydney and learn more about her journey with scoliosis and care at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Learn more

National Patient Ambassador

Seth was 11 when his doctor noticed a curvature in his spine. They began with a “wait and see” approach, and later treatment from a chiropractor. Still, the curvature of his spine quickly progressed to a severe degree. He and his family learned about Shriners Hospitals for Children from a social media group focused on the Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) treatment for scoliosis. Seth, now 17, enjoys playing many sports, including football, baseball and basketball, and is now focusing on competitive golf. Meet Seth and learn more about his scoliosis journey and care at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Learn More

National Patient Ambassador

Mia, 16, was born with a severe case of infantile idiopathic scoliosis. Her journey with Shriners Hospitals for Children began when she was 2, when she was first seen at the St. Louis location. Mia’s treatments have included halo traction to gradually straighten and stretch her spine, as well as nearly 20 surgeries. Mia’s passion is theater and singing, and she has been featured in several of our commercials. Mia was also part of the Shriners children’s choir who performed in a recent recording of Foreigner’s hit song, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Meet National Patient Ambassador Mia and see her story. Learn More

National Patient Ambassador

Connor, 14, was born with a bilateral incomplete cleft lip and complete cleft palate involving the hard and soft palate. As a newborn, his condition was so severe that he was even unable to create the suction needed to feed. By the time he was 3 weeks old, he was failing to gain weight and was about to be admitted to a hospital. That’s when Connor’s family learned about Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. He’s had 13 surgeries and has more to go, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his passions. Meet National Patient Ambassador Connor and see his story. Learn More

Patient Ambassador

Autumn was born with a rare form of dwarfism called Conradi Hunnerman Syndrome, causing her to have asymmetrical limb length differences in her legs and arms, she has severe kyphos-scoliosis, hip dysplasia, and numerous other physical disadvantages. Shriners for Children Medical Center has been Autumn’s and our life line for all her physical needs, including surgeries, leg braces, shoes lifts, physical therapy and more. Our entire family is truly grateful for all that Shriners has done for Autumn over her life time.

Patient Ambassador

Gabriella was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 13 years old during a routine checkup in her P.E. class. She and her mother came to the Pasadena medical center and met with Robert Cho, M.D., to discuss options. In 2018, Dr. Cho performed a spinal fusion surgery to correct the curvature in Gabriella’s spine.

Patient Ambassador

Josiah was born with congenital bilateral clubfoot and has had many surgeries by an orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas. The surgeon referred us to Shriners Children’s for a second opinion after a relapse of clubfoot for Josiah as he felt he could no longer be able to help him. Josiah was originally seen at the Salt Lake City location for consultation. He was later sent to Shriners Children’s Southern California where Dr. Nguyen did bilateral release of his Achilles’ tendon and plantar fascia release in September 2021. Currently Josiah is wearing braces and is in physical therapy. He is on the road to recovery and has healed well from surgery. We are very thankful for Dr. Nguyen, Shriners Children’s and the hospital staff who have played a great part in his treatment and recovery.

Patient Ambassador

Carter has been a patient at Shriners since 2019. Carter has Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE), a rare genetic bone disorder that causes bone tumors. Carter’s long bones are affected. It can be painful, cause fatigue and complicate other basic everyday activities. He requires surgery to remove the tumors.

Carter calls his bone tumors his “super bones.” Carter is an MHE Warrior because he does not let his disorder get him down. He takes on each day with a great attitude and does what every 9-year-old boy does! Carter is a 4th grader at Piggott Academy of International Studies in Las Vegas. He enjoys spending his time with his family, reading, building Lego, playing video games and his newest passion – sled hockey for the Vegas Golden Chariots.

Patient Ambassador

Hailey has Leukodystrophy, a terminal brain disease. It affects all aspects of brain communicating with body. She lost her ability to ambulate over time. Everywhere her parents went, they were told she does not qualify for a wheelchair Hailey could work herself, so for years she was at the mercy of the adult pushing her wheelchair. Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City provided orthotics for her as she grew, and recently, to the surprise of her parents, told them it would be no problem to provide her with a new wheelchair she can work herself. She now has a sense of independence that she’s never had before. In addition to loving her new independence, Hailey loves school, is a social butterfly and loves connecting with people. And is putting her new wheelchair to good use on her wheelchair basketball team.

Patient Ambassador

Angel has the very rare MONA syndrome, which has similarities to brittle bone disease. He receives Zelendronate infusions from Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City. He also received his wheelchair from the Salt Lake City facility.

Angel loves to build Legos, including some big ambitious Star Wars builds. He also enjoys playing video games and likes sports.

Patient Ambassador

Alyssa is an adaptive sports teen athlete. She loves to surf and skate, and is a WCMX Adaptive Skate World Champion – the BMX for wheelchair riders.

Alyssa was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two. One year later, Alyssa developed a spinal infection that left her partially paralyzed. Her parents did a significant amount of research after feeling discouraged by how doctors spoke about her diagnosis.

Alyssa’s parents brought her to Shriners Children’s Northern California, and from the very first appointment, doctors provided Alyssa and her family with therapy options, treatments and additional surgeries to improve Alyssa’s overall well-being. Alyssa is cared for by a multidisciplinary team including orthopedists, orthopedic spine surgeons, physical therapists, urologists and bowel management specialists. She has been fitted for various assistive mobility devices as she has grown.

Alyssa is in her junior year in high school and plans to study engineering in college. For now, her focus is hanging out with her friends and practicing the sport she loves. She is currently working on mastering a hand-plant and aims to be the first woman to do a backflip on resin in a wheelchair. Her dream is to be sponsored by an adaptive sports chair company.

Alissa (Ali)
Patient Ambassador

Alissa was born with Fibular Hemimelia, a congenital limb deficiency, causing the absence of her left fibula bone and additionally a shortened and bent left femur bone. Shriners Hospitals for Children Los Angeles mapped out a medical plan for Ali just a few months after her birth in 2009. Together their team of expert physicians and prosthetists helped Ali through her amputation surgery at 9 months, an additional surgery at 11 months, and had her walking right after her 1st birthday. In 2020 and 2021 Alissa had 2 additional surgeries to help align her leg. Over the past 12 years since her amputation, Alissa has received over 15 prostheses, including specialized running legs for sports. With these legs she: paddleboards, bikes, hikes, plays numerous sports (most recently making her jr. high basketball team), pitches and plays 2nd base for her travel softball team (recently hitting her first over the fence homerun), and has earned many gold medals in Jr. Paralympics for Archery and Track and Field (currently holding 7 US National Records for U11 age group and 3 National Records for U14. Her goal is to make it to the next Paralympic Games! She continues to surpass goals and dreams thanks to the amazing and supportive care received from the Shriners for Children Medical Center, Pasadena, CA and from the continued encouragement from the wonderful Shriners and Ladies she has been so fortunate to grow with.

Jaxon / Dallin / Landon
Patient Ambassadors

After finding out that our first born would be born with a cleft lip, and possible cleft palate, we were devastated and didn’t know what we needed to do. At our church, we believe that acts of faith bring blessing back to our families. The day after we had made the decision to act on our faith, my husband was working for a local cable company when he came across the director of Shriners Las Vegas branch. He explained to him the wonderful organization and the services that Shriners offers. And told us to go into the office as soon as we could with our new baby, and that they would take care of us. We went in the next week, and got registered and they said that they would contact us in the next couple of weeks and we said great! A couple of hours later I got a call and the wanted us to go to California 4 days later. We met with Dr. Magee and we felt such peace with him, that there was no question we wanted him as our doctor.

And in the next couple of years when we found out our second born was going to have a cleft, I texted Dr. Magee and he said, no problem! We are here for you and will take care of you. Fast forward another couple of years and we had our third son, and I texted Dr. Magee and he said, well you guys are pros and we will take care of him as well!

It has been such an amazing and overwhelming experience to have Shriners Hospital take care of all my boys. Dr. Magee took care of all the cleft lips. Jaxon was born with a bilateral cleft lip, Dallin was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, Landon was born with a left unilateral cleft lip. He’s done 8 surgeries between all 3 of them.

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