A Debt We Can Never Repay
Believe it or not, our bubbly, energetic, athletic Ericka was born with a club foot. Ericka's great-great uncle was a Shriner, and he referred her case to the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. The thought that Ericka, our newborn treasure, was going to have to go through a series of surgeries to correct her foot was agonizing. Ericka received treatment for the first five years of her life. Finally, at the age of 5, she had her last surgery. As tough as that time was on the family, it would have been many times tougher had it not been for the staff at Shriners Hospital. They took first rate care of Ericka, and our family. We will never forget the contribution that they made to our lives, and to Ericka's. The Ericka Wade Memorial Fund for Shriners Hospitals for Children is our way of saying thanks for giving Ericka the ability to dance, cheer, play basketball and volleyball, and to live an all around active and normal life.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children treatment areas cover a wide range of pediatric orthopedics, including scoliosis, limb discrepancies, clubfoot, hip dysplasia, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, as well as cerebral palsy, spina bifida (myelomeningocele), and other neurological conditions that affect ambulation and movement. Three of the hospitals provide spinal cord injury rehabilitation that is developmentally appropriate for children and adolescents, with adventure and adapted sports programs, activity-based rehabilitation, aquatherapy, animal-assisted therapy, and other innovative programs. Four of the hospitals (Boston, Galveston, Cincinnati, and Sacramento) provide world-famous care for children with burns, as well as treating a variety of skin conditions such as epidermolysis bullosa and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The Boston, Chicago, and Portland hospitals also provide treatment for children with craniofacial conditions, especially facial clefts. The hospital in Sacramento is the only hospital in the Shriners' system that focuses on all three areas of treatment (burns, orthopedics, and spinal cord injuries), as well as research. The Sacramento hospital also houses its own orthotics and prosthetics lab and development facilities. All care at Shriners Hospitals is provided by interdisciplinary teams who work closely together to integrate the expertise of all the appropriate healthcare disciplines in one building. Transportation to the hospitals is often provided free of charge by Shriner-drivers across the country. Children accepted for treatment become part of the Shriners Hospital system until their 18th or, sometimes, their 21st, birthday, eligible for both inpatient and outpatient treatment for all facets of their disability.