Current and former Shriners Hospitals for Children patients have the drive to compete at the highest level
Published: Mar 01, 2018
TAMPA, Fla., March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Shriners Hospitals for Children® is cheering on current and former patients, who have qualified for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, March 9 - 18. These athletes have adapted to their disabilities to compete at the highest international levels in downhill skiing, snowboarding, curling and sled hockey.
Some of these athletes were introduced to adaptive sports through a Shriners Hospitals for Children clinic or camp. The health care system is known as a global leader in pediatric specialty care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate as well as support programs that encourage kids to reach their fullest potential.
Rehabilitation, therapy, school programs and family support are offered at many of the Shriners Hospitals locations as a regular part of a child's treatment. Experiential camps and adaptive sports programs are also offered to further help kids physically and mentally. One example is Camp Un-Limb-ited, an annual ski and snowboard program in Utah offered for young amputee patients. The camp has inspired several current and former patients to pursue their athletic ambitions. All Shriners Hospitals for Children care and support programs are offered regardless of the families' ability to pay.
"Every day, Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages patients to manage the challenges of their conditions with programs such as physical therapy and music therapy. Our adaptive sports programs and camps go a step further to maximize a patient's mobility, build strength and gain self-confidence. Seeing our patients compete on an international level is extraordinary. Not only are they pursuing their own dreams, they are helping to inspire other patients with disabilities to achieve incredible things," said Gary Bergenske, chairman of the Board of Directors, Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Meet a few of the athletes who have received care at Shriners Hospitals for Children:
Santiago Vega, 20, (Team Chile) is a right-leg amputee and downhill skier. He says he owes much of his success to the medical care he has received over 18 years at Shriners Hospitals for Children and attending Camp Un-Limb-ited.
Nicole Roundy, 31, (Team U.S.A.) snowboards and was the first above-the-knee-amputee to compete in adaptive snowboarding. She credits Camp Un-Limb-ited with introducing her to snowboarding and inspiring her to compete.
Andrew Haraghey, 22, (Team U.S.A.) has cerebral palsy and competes as a downhill skier. He credits physical therapy with helping him to compete at this high level.
Justin Marshall, 31, (Team U.S.A.) is a wheelchair curler who competes despite being paralyzed. He was treated for scoliosis at Shriners Hospitals as a teen and is now an architect designing hospitals across the country.
Brody Roybal, 19, (Team U.S.A.) is a congenital bilateral amputee who competes in sled hockey and will be vying for his second gold medal in the sport. He saw adaptive athletes at various Shriners Hospitals events and knew he wanted to be like them.
To learn more about these inspiring athletes, please visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/athletes.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Learn more at shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.
Contact: Mel Bower
SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children