Category Archives: News

Run to Inspire; Former TSRHC Patient with Cerebral Palsy Runs in Dallas Marathon

Every runner has his or her own reasons for running a marathon; many run to prove to themselves that they can simply do it. Others run to win.

For former TSRHC patient Michael Burns, he ran to inspire.

In an interview with WFAA ABC News Channel 8 in Dallas, Burns talked about his motivations for competing in the 2014 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon.

As a child Burns was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and he spent 13 years as a patient of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children under the care of Dr. J.A. “Tony” Herring, Chief of Staff Emeritus. TSRHC is the primary beneficiary of the Dallas Marathon, and to Burns’ it is the main reason why he participated.

“If I can give hope to other people, to other kids…that’s why I push.”

Burns began his journey as a marathon runner 7 years ago, when he took up running as a way to relieve stress brought on by the mortgage crisis. Now at age 36, this is his marathon.

“I was always curious about what it would feel like to do a half marathon, and then a half led to my full marathon, 26.2 mile race in one day,” Burns told WFAA Channel 8.

Burns is currently working with Dr. Lezlie Maloy of Spring Valley Spine and Sports care, who is helping him as he prepares to run. Burns has experienced several stress fractures running in the past, and Maloy is helping him with his biomechanics so that he can participate in the Dallas Marathon.

“I know what I have; I know that I’m very fortunate,” Burns said, “because I know with other patients with cerebral palsy, they’re not as fortunate; some are in wheelchairs, some are on crutches.”

TSRHC has been the primary beneficiary of the Dallas Marathon since 1997, receiving more than $3.5 million in donations.

“Everybody’s got their differences,” Dr. Herring said, “and what you do is make the best of what you’ve got. [Burns has] done a great job of doing that.”

2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Meet Max of Arlington

In addition to the junior race director, the MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® features 5 patient champions from TSRHC. The patient champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient.

Max Paredes age 9 of Arlington_074

Max, age 9, of Arlington, Texas was adopted from China when he was three years old. When adopting Max, his family knew that he had some limb differences in both his foot and his hands, so it made sense for them to take him to TSRHC. Max is treated in both, TSRHC’s Prosthetics department as well as the Charles E. Seay, Jr. Hand Center. One of Max’s biggest passions is art. He has won artist of the year twice at Ditto Elementary School and he loves designing his legs! In addition, Max recently started playing soccer and is doing great. He is the epitome of perseverance, his parents never hear the words “I can’t do this” come out of his mouth because Max is always determined to find a way to do everything.  Max can’t wait to help cheer on the runners at this year’s Dallas Marathon!

Dallas Cowboys Holiday Visit

Dwayne Harris, Marissa Regalado - ptOn Tuesday, December 9, select Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders came to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) for their annual holiday visit.  Members of the team have been visiting TSRHC since 1996.

Patients and their families were treated to Dallas Cowboys goodies and each had a chance to get autographs from the football players and cheerleaders.

View media coverage of the event:
Dallas Morning News
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Dallas Cowboys Website



Veronica Lind, Ava Coker, Melissa Lynn, Brynleee Coker, Lacey Annalea Kyle Stamey - pt, Tony Romo


2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Meet Ellie of Flower Mound

In addition to the junior race director, the MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® features 5 patient champions from TSRHC. The patient champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient.

Ellie Sharp age 16 of Flower Mound_03Ellie, of Flower Mound, Texas has been a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children since she was 11 years old. She receives treatment at the hospital for scoliosis—curvature of the spine—and had surgery at TSRHC to correct the curve in July 2013. Thanks to TSRHC, today, her back is almost straight! Ellie is 16 years old and attends Flower Mound High School, where she is a vital member of the golf team. She is also a PGA Junior Tours participant, very active in her church and is a small group leader at Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Ellie has always had a positive outlook during her time as a patient at TSRHC. All of the trips to the hospital became mother/daughter days for her and her mom.

Ellie is extremely outgoing and loves to talk and make new friends. She hopes to attend Ole Miss in the future and pursue a degree and career in marketing or public relations. Ellie has loved every experience she has had at TSRHC, especially the volunteers and the popcorn, and is excited to represent the hospital as a 2014 Patient Champion!

2014 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

Kitty Kay - TSRHC Crayon Club







Twas the 2nd of December and all through Scottish Rite

Not a tree was decorated, not even one light;

Trees were placed through the hospital with care,

In hopes that volunteers and friends soon would be there…

Christmas cheer filled the halls of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Tuesday night as friends and volunteers came together for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The smell of popcorn wafted through the Atrium as Dallas area organizations, businesses and community members gathered to help decorate the hospital for the holidays. The 18 foot grand tree, located in the hospital Atrium, was ceremoniously lit by TSRHC patient Emily Hough and Steve Love (President and CEO of the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council) to kick off the festivities.  After everyone joined in a joyous rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” the volunteers and the holiday decorators dispersed throughout the hospital to decorate over 50 trees.

Holiday music played by the Town North Concert Band put the whole hospital in the spirit while the trees were lovingly decorated.  Quick as a flash, the hospital was almost instantaneously transformed in a manner of minutes. Over 50 trees across the entire campus were uniquely decorated for their holiday debut. Some trees feature traditional holiday décor while others feature more humorous themes like surfing Santa. Each of the trees is as uniquely beautiful as the children of this hospital.

After every last ornament and ribbon was perfectly in place, everyone sat down to a holiday feast of sweet potatoes, roast beef and brie sandwiches and gingerbread men. It was truly a time of good tidings and great joy for all at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.


Violeta’s Story: From the White House to TSRHC

Violeta Hernandez_16

With Don Cummings, Director of Prosthetics

Violeta visited the White House in 2004. That year, she also became a patient at TSRHC, referred to the hospital by George W. Bush’s secretary of education, Rod Paige, who had met the 8-year-old Violeta during an official trip to Mexico two years earlier.

Violeta was born without a right leg and had a poorly functioning prosthetic. She came to TSRHC to be fitted for a new prosthetic and began making annual visits for adjustments or new legs as she grew. Now 20, Violeta is a scholarship college student back home. Recently she had her last TSRHC appointment, documented in this video, Violeta’s Story.

2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Meet Elizabeth, age 11, of Arlington

In addition to the junior race director, the MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® features 5 patient champions from TSRHC. The patient champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient.

Elizabeth Spoon age 11 of Arlington_34Elizabeth, age 11, of Arlington, Texas has been a patient at TSRHC’s Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders for a year and a half. Elizabeth had been homeschooled and her mom knew that something was wrong, so the pediatrician sent them to TSRHC. After going through testing, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and, with much excitement, was soon admitted to The Luke Waites Center.The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders is named for Dr. Luke Waites, who in 1965 established a program at TSRHC to identify and treat children with learning disorders, primarily dyslexia. The World Federation of Neurology met at TSRHC in 1968 and formulated the first consensus definition of developmental dyslexia. With great progress in the dyslexia program at the hospital, Elizabeth’s parents now have to tell her to put her books away at night or else she will never go to bed! Outside of school, Elizabeth is an accomplished hockey player. Her future goals are to attend Yale University, because they have a great hockey team and an outstanding dyslexia center. Elizabeth is looking forward to representing the hospital as a Patient Champion at the 2014 Dallas Marathon!

Elizabeth was featured in the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, November 25. Read article online here!

Profile: Lori A. Karol, M.D., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

lori karolThe doctors of Texas Scottish Right Hospital for Children work tirelessly to ensure the patients admitted are discharged with a clean bill of health.  Dr. Lori Karol, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, is one of those doctors. She specializes in scoliosis research with a focus on early onset scoliosis.

Getting Started

How did this world-renowned doctor begin her career? As it turns out, she decided to pursue a career in medicine when she was just a senior in high school. At the young age of 16, she applied to a combined pre-med/medical school program at the University of Michigan. It was there that she met the residents who would influence her decision to focus on orthopedics.

Why Orthopedics

While the residents senior to her were influential in her decision, Dr. Karol claims that she enjoyed every specialty. In her third year, she assisted an orthopedic service for a month. This enabled her to take part in surgeries, reduce fractures, roll casts, and more.

Aside from finding fun in the work, Dr. Karol has other reasons for wanting to go into orthopedic surgery. She found that she is more of a “doer” than a “thinker,” and orthopedics is the kind of profession that would keep her active.

All About the Patient

The reason Dr. Karol comes to work every day is truly for the patients. She doesn’t think of her position at TSRHC as just any “job.” Every day, all of her work – down to the x-ray – is about the child who has been entrusted to her.

For more information, visit Dr. Karol’s profile featured on Spinal News International.

Giving Back – TSRHC Directors Find Their Calling in Prosthetics

Two department directors at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) are making it their priority to give back to the young patients they treat.  Both of these individuals specialize in creating versatile prosthetics that help patients achieve their dreams and reach heights they never could have otherwise.

Don Cummings  and Don Virostek are directors in TSRHC’s prosthetics and orthotics department and help to improve the lives of many young children who enter the hospital.  Their contribution is unmatched as an inspiration to everyone who crosses their paths.

Their History

The most amazing thing about these two inspirational staff members is that they both are amputees themselves which inspired them to follow their dreams in the prosthetics/orthotics field.

Their history puts them in the unique position of actually understanding the experience of their patients so they can help these children from a place of empathy and respect.

Their Legacy

And beyond simply helping children to live full lives, these doctors have inspired one of their own patients to follow in their footsteps!  Hopefully these doctors will continue to inspire the patients they work with to build a life of giving back to others in similar situations.

View the video from NBCDFW news for more on their story.


Opening Doors: Emily Ramirez’s Story

The school bell rings at Abilene High School and it is time to go to class.

Hundreds of students pour through the front entrance of the building with ease, opening and entering through the doors without thinking twice. But one student remains behind, struggling to open the door with her walker in the way.

After a few minutes of effort, she eventually opens the door and makes her way to class in the wake of her peers. This student is 17-year-old TSRHC patient Emily, and this was how she started her day, every day, for years.

“I’ve struggled through anything you could think of my entire life,” says Emily, who was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills. “I always had to have someone help me – including opening doors – just to get into school.”

While public buildings, including schools, must provide entrances that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, there is no law that requires the installation of automatic handicap doors. Emily looked beyond the law and saw a need.

Last summer, Emily took a stand against the struggle for accessibility for both herself and other students in her shoes. So she launched a campaign to install automatic doors at her school. Little did she know, her efforts would grow into a movement that would take Abilene, Texas, by storm.

Emily decided to name the campaign “Keep Calm Install Handicap Doors.” The phrase and logo was emblazoned on T-shirts, which were sold to raise funds for the cause. Local media, from television to radio stations, shared her story. Billboards and fliers were produced and displayed across town. Eventually the mayor of Abilene became involved, and even proclaimed a day in Emily’s honor to recognize her hard work and success.

“The whole community stepped forward when we began the campaign,” says Emily’s mother, Kimberly. “It was just overwhelming. It went beyond anything we had ever imagined.”

Emily’s initial goal was to have one electronic door installed at her school. But after a story about the campaign was featured on a local news station, several people wanted to lend their support. The original story aired on a Friday night. By the following Monday morning, four doors had been donated to the cause.

“We had no idea the campaign was going to explode, but it did. And it opened everybody’s eyes,” says Kimberly.

To date, the campaign has successfully led to the installation of 15 electronic doors across six Abilene school campuses. But to Emily, the true success of the campaign has been its positive effect on her fellow classmates. “I had to do this not only for me, but for everybody else that needs it. Seeing the reactions on the faces of students using the doors for the first time made me so happy,” says Emily. “We all have a new level of independence. It has been such a freeing feeling.” Emily’s display of determination reaches beyond Abilene and has inspired even her TSRHC doctor, Mauricio Delgado, M.D.

“Emily is a very smart young woman who does not let her mobility challenges stand in her way,” says Delgado. “Knowing that she is working so hard to help other kids like herself is extremely encouraging.”

Delgado is the director of TSRHC’s Neurology department, which provides care for orthopaedic patients who have related neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy. It is the most common physical disability in children, affecting approximately four out of every 1,000 school-aged children.

“Through medical and surgical treatments, along with assistive devices and therapy, TSRHC serves this patient population in a variety of ways,” says Delgado. “We
aim to maximize their functional potential so they can improve their participation in day-to-day activities.”

Emily’s experience at TSRHC helped build a foundation for the skills needed to create a successful campaign. “With the support of the hospital and the treatment I’ve received here, I have been given a sense of security and peace,” says Emily. “The care from Scottish Rite gives me the confidence I need to speak up for what I believe in.”

Emily’s confidence to stand up for what she believes in continues to grow – and she continues to open doors to a brighter future for herself and others.

***This article was featured as the cover story for our 2014 Volume 2 Rite Up Magazine