Nobles and Ladies,
Meet Christina, one of our Shrine kids from our Springfield Hospital who has been receiving care since she was six months old. She is an energetic young lady with a contagious smile who knows no boundaries. Kristen O’Shepa, Public Relations Specialist, from our Springfield Hospital provided this amazing story about Christina’s journey to share with us. It is a testament to “as Shriners, we believe that care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and crippling diseases, is our institutional calling.”
Christina Juris, a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield, from New Hampshire, had the experience of a lifetime representing our hospital at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, an official PGA TOUR event in Las Vegas in November 2017.
Christina was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors throughout the country to represent our hospital at the tournament, where she served as a standard bearer throughout the weekend, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “inside the ropes” opportunity at a PGA TOUR event, as well as the chance to share how Shriners Hospitals have helped transform her life.
Christina was born, left arm limb deficient, and is an active 11-year-old girl who knows no limits or no boundaries. Can’t is considered a bad word in Christina’s vocabulary. Christina has been a patient at Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, since the age of 6 months, working with her one and only prosthetist Matthew “Brock” McConkey. Christina and her older sister, Katerina, live with her parents in New Hampshire. She keeps busy with her extracurricular sports and academics. Christina loves being a part of her school drama club where she recently played Pumbaa from the Lion King in Junior school production. When she is not running, golfing or alpine downhill skiing with her family, she loves to read books.
Christina is a National Junior Olympic Cross Country runner. She has qualified to run at the US Junior Olympic Nationals for the last three years, competing nationally in South Carolina, New Mexico and Alabama. She enjoys going out for a run with her mom and sometimes her older sister. This fall she is hoping to run in her first long distance race.
Christina has recently taken up golf. She works with a coach and a professional golf instructor that guide her in learning the skills and rules of golf. She absolutely loves playing golf with her new prosthetic arm from Shriners Hospital. She is excited for the opportunity to join the golf team in the seventh grade. Christina has gone out on numerous occasions, teaching adults and children about being limb deficient, wearing a prosthetic limb, and telling them about Shriners Hospital. She encourages others to collect aluminum can tabs.
Christina paired up with a local school in an aluminum can tab competition, where the students and teachers of the school collected can tabs and presented them to Christina for Shriners Hospital. The entire student body collected over 200,000 can tabs! Proudly, Christina thanked the student body and told them how much they are making a positive difference in the lives of others at Shriners Hospital. She encouraged them to collect 300,000 next year.
Christina loves to offer one piece of advice ….Please don’t stare! She encourages others to ask about her arm. She loves to talk and teach others about her limb deficiency and feels saddened when people stare at her. Christina loves being limb deficient; she feels being truly unique has helped her teach others about being single handed, and has made her strong in so many ways. Never say, CAN’T!
Be sure and give yourselves a pat on the back. You are all doing God’s work in helping these wonderful children, “looking up to you with eyes full of thanks for what you have done, and hope for all you will do.”
“It’s All About the Kids”
p.s. If you haven’t had a chance to come to one of our family events as yet, we missed you. Make sure you check out the schedule of events on pages 4 and 5; you won’t want to miss out on all the fun.
Es Salaam Eleikum
Illustrious Harlan L. Woods, Jr.
2018 Potentate, Aleppo Shrine Center