As we close out October and our month of fundraising for Shriners Hospital, we wanted to share with you three stories of people close to us here at Hoshall’s about how Shriners has impacted their lives.
Shriners Hospital has played a huge role in the lives of many of the staff here at Hoshall’s. One such story is Sydney’s, one of our Senior Master Designers.
Sydney was first introduced to the Shriner’s through her father, a Shriner since 1986. He became a Shriner after they cared for his cousin when he was badly burned in an accident. Sydney grew up attending their pancake breakfast fundraisers and parades in which her dad would participate. He would also volunteer as a clown to cheer up kids recovering from surgery.
Shriners Hospital has also had a personal impact on her family when her son was having an issue with the tendons in his feet. After unsuccessful treatments through their regular doctor, they reached out to Shriners, who immediately agreed to help. They were able to correctly identify the cause, and after six weeks of treatment, he hasn’t had trouble since. Sydney feels it would have had a major impact on her son’s life if without the care he received from Shriners.
Sydney has continued her family’s legacy of support for Shriners through volunteering at their various fundraising events, and her other son was selected to play on the All Star Shrine Bowl team, a football team that raises money for Shriners through tickets to football games. Last year alone, the teams and their families raised over $50,000 across several major athletic events.
Another one of our stylists, Meko, underwent life-saving treatment at Shriners when he was young. Born in a disputed area of Armenia in 1986, his family was forced to flee after he was badly burned in an air raid. Walking over 500 miles on their way to seek refuge, his burns healed badly, and when they finally made it to the Ukraine as refugees, the doctors were unable to provide him the treatment he needed.
Meko was given a refugee visa to the the United States, where he was finally able to get the treatment he needed at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. It took three years of surgeries, two to three each year, where skin grafts were used to give him back mobility in his arms. He was treated by a doctor that he said was very kind, and so dedicated to his work, who would bring toys every time he visited. His doctor loved Christmas trees, so Meko’s mother would bring ornaments for him when she visited as a way to say thanks.
During his stay at Shriners, Meko remembers how they would always try to cheer the kids up. He remembers getting to choose the color of his hospital gown and the flavor they would use in the anesthesia - comforts that made the experience much less scary for him and the other children.
Meko has remained involved with Shriners Hospital, giving back as a volunteer through Capital Christian Center.
One of our wonderful clients at Hoshall’s also shared her story about how Shriner’s helped her family. After being born with a twisted foot, her son was sent to Shriners at just six weeks old. Despite their efforts, they ended up having to amputate his foot before his first birthday. His leg healed well, however, and he was fitted for his first prosthetic. He walked almost immediately.
As part of one of their programs, Shriners has a relationship with The Wounded Warrior Project’s camp for children with disabilities, including amputations. The camp was started in 2013 and now takes place every year throughout the US, nominating children to participate. Our client and her family were able to go to the camp in Louisville, Kentucky in 2014, and in summer 2019, were able to be part of the first year where there was an alumni program for returning campers.
In addition to the incredible impact of Shriners Hospital Norhtern California, her family has also received support from Shriners in Portland, where her grandniece with cerebral palsy and scoliosis is now able to walk thanks to the equipment and intensive therapy she has received from Shriners Hospital.
These stories are just a few of the many reasons we have selected Shriners Hospital for our charity drive this month, and we hope to inspire our salon community to get involved in any way they can to support this wonderful organization.