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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!

2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Meet Dimitri, age 10, of Plano

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.

Dimitri Jubenville age 10 of Plano_18Dimitri, age 10, of Plano, Texas was adopted from Russia three years ago. Since arriving in America, Dimitri has been treated for prosthetic needs at TSRHC under the care of TSRHC’s Chief of Staff Emeritus, Tony Herring, M.D., and TSRHC’s renowned Prosthetics department. Although he wears two prostheses—one fully mechanical leg and a partial prosthetic—that doesn’t stop Dimitri from doing all of the sports he loves! He is a great swimmer, gymnast, and he enjoys riding his hand bicycle where he is able to make his upper body strong. Dimitri is a very outgoing young boy who loves to make friends everywhere he goes. His favorite thing to do while at TSRHC is playing with other patients in the Child Life Playroom and he cannot wait to support TSRHC and the Dallas Marathon as a 2014 Patient Champion.

Don’t Forget to Order Your TSRHC Holiday Items!

TSRHC’s holiday greeting cards, “Happy Holidays” gift card and ornament are now available for ordering!

Holiday Greeting Cards

SnowmanSpread holiday cheer to your friends, family, clients and colleagues by sending holiday cards featuring art by TSRHC patients. Pricing is $20 per package, which includes 20 cards and 22 envelopes.

Order by phone: (214) 559-8323 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 8323; or by mail: download this PDF and mail it back to TSRHC.

“Happy Holidays” Gift Card

P3_Holiday Donor Card 2014 copyThis year, give a gift that helps give children back their childhood. Honor your friends and family with a donation to TSRHC in their name. The hospital will acknowledge your donation by sending a “Happy Holidays” gift card to your list of recipients. Please visit tsrhc.org/give, print the gift card order form and mail it to the address listed on the form, or call (214) 559-8322 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 8322.

TSRHC Holiday Ornament

P3_Ornament copyCommemorate 2014 with a fun, festive ornament from TSRHC. This year’s ornament boasts a new, 3-D design representing an iconic hospital image – TSRHC’s legendary popcorn!

Purchase your annual collectible ornament for $16.95 online here!



2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Meet Alana, age 10, of Dallas

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.

Alana Bitting age 9 of Dallas_47Alana, of Dallas, Texas started coming to TSRHC only about six months ago after suffering injuries from a major car accident when her family was hit by a drunk driver. At just 9 years old, she was pinned in the car and after having to be cut out of the vehicle she suffered very severe injuries, including pelvic and other multiple fractures, a dislocated hip and nerve damage. After being in ICU for a week and a half, she was referred to TSRHC to receive the care she needed to fully recover from this traumatic event. Alana wore an external Ilizarov to treat the multiple fractures in her leg bones. Physicians at TSRHC developed the TRUE/LOKExternal Fixation System, a modification of Ilizarov’s frame, to treat patients with a variety of limb length discrepancies, including lengthening or reshaping bones. The TRUE/LOK system requires a less complicated surgical procedure and allows for greater patient comfort during the lengthening process. The patented TRUE/LOK system is now used around the world and continues to be improved through the efforts of the Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction at TSRHC. Alana’s favorite part about the hospital is all of the friendly nurses and the Child Life playroom, where she can use her outgoing personality to play with all of the other patients. She is very thankful to TSRHC for helping her through a very traumatic experience in her life!

Artist-in-Residence Helps TSRHC Patients Express Creativity

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) is about to get even more bright and colorful! A new position, titled Artist-in-Residence, has started at TSRHC through our Child Life department. Brenton Black will be working with the hospital’s in-patients to beautify the campus with unique pieces of art as a way to let the patients express themselves and use art as a means of therapy.

Get to know a little bit more about Brenton in our Q&A and view photos from his recent sky bridge mural project with TSRHC patients:

Staff Brenton BlackThe Artist-in-Residence position is new to TSRHC. What do you plan to do at the hospital?

This is the first year of the Art-in-Residence program. My plan is to first make art with the children of the hospital. I want them all to explore their creativity without boundaries and restraint. I give direction and leave them to create their vision. This allows each kiddo to express themself. Often we as adults try to control and steer kids and each other into our lane. I want to make sure each child is “talking” and expressing their unique story. I want each child to see its work being recognized and “listened” to. This builds confidence and a sort of fearlessness when it comes to expression.

My second mission is to have the entire hospital recognize these young voices. We want a body of artwork from the patients to be displayed, marveled and valued. This will be made whole by collecting those works and putting them on display throughout the hospital and at art shows.

Staff Brenton BlackTell us a little bit about your background as an artist?

Ironically I started my art career in a Child Life setting when I was three or four years old. My sister was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of four. My family was back and forth to a children’s hospital throughout her treatment. I was often at her bedside and kept active in their Child Life program. I actually have a few of the small paintings my sister and I created. I never stopped drawing and sketching. Through high school I sketched classmate’s portraits, football banners, cheerleading banners, entered local contest with the Mavs, Cowboys, etc.

Fast-forward to 2010…..I was working at the Fairmont Dallas where I met their Artist-in-Residence, Zach Saucedo. We talked and he viewed my sketch portfolio and told me to start painting. He gave me tips and advice, and from there I taught myself to paint.

Patient Madeline Cooper, 10; patient Amy Goode, 16Art is a therapeutic activity. Tell us how this helps our in-patients during their stay at TSRHC?

Art is very therapeutic. It allows you to escape your current situation mentally. The first time I broke open a fresh canvas at a bedside paint session, my paint buddy forgot her pain, procedure, and opened up verbally (something everyone said she wouldn’t do). I feel the program creates an immediate get-away from the stress of not being home and a creative break from the stress of the hospital stay.

What was the inspiration behind the mural by the skybridge?

LEE_4766AThe inspiration lies with the kids of Child Life. I asked each of them what they’d like to see, create and have on display. My first day in the Child Life playroom I painted a really cool Minion. So naturally they wanted more! The mine craft character was an addition requested by one of the older patients. The crayons were added to fit everything around TSRHC. I actually only did 30% of the work. The kids paint everything they could reach and I painted Artist in residence Brenton Black; patient Madeline Cooper. 10up high and did the black line work. Flowers, the big tree, melted crayons and handprints were all ideas of my little artists. I wanted it to still look like a construction zone but with a splash of happy. The construction zone feel lets people know of the hospital’s continued growth and advances. The playful colors remind all employees who the come to work for… THE KIDS. I will be adding a chalk board paint section for employees to sign and add to the creation. I want everyone involved!

What’s next?

Staff Artist Brenton Black

We are working on individual paintings that will be displayed in the same sky bridge hallway, on the opposite wall as a permanent display. We also have a 4 foot by 4 foot painting that will hang in the Child Life Playroom. I am planning a sculpture project and will begin the staging process for getting a uniform art show together.

Stay tuned for more updates from Brenton and our talented young artists!


Save the Date: Gingerbread Stroll and Cookies & Castles

The holidays are right around the corner! We wanted to share two upcoming events that will surely be fun for the whole family! Save the date for the Gingerbread Stroll in Highland Park Village and the Cookies and Castles event:

The Gingerbread Stroll 2014

gingerbread-Stroll-Logo-no-detail-TMWhen: Friday, November 14, 2014 – Sunday, November 30, 2014

Where: Highland Park Village

What: The Gingerbread Stroll will be held in Dallas at Highland Park Village November 14-30, 2014. Stroll the fabulous shops and silently bid on elaborate gingerbread houses created by Dallas’ top pastry chefs. 100% of the proceeds raised from the silent auction will benefit TSRHC. 
For more information, follow their Facebook page

Cookies and Castles: A Gingerbread Extravaganza

Gigi SearsWhen: Friday and Saturday,  December 12 – 13

Where: TSRHC

What: Cookies and Castles began in 2008 as the primary philanthropy event of the Dallas Alumnae Group of Delta Delta Delta, benefiting TSRHC’s prosthetics department. It has become an annual holiday event for kids of all ages! Gingerbread houses & ginger-bread men are decorated with sweets and treats from a vast variety of candy. Santa & Mrs. Claus attend to visit with children throughout the event.

This year there are two events that you can participate in:

Ladies Luncheon – Friday, December 12: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Ladies, join us for a gingerbread extravaganza of our very own.  Each seat comes with a regular-sized gingerbread castle, icing complete with decorating tip, endless amounts of candy, a cotton two-pocket apron, and a gourmet sandwich buffet lunch from East Hampton Sandwich Company.

Family Day – Saturday, December 13: 1 – 3 p.m.

Gather the kids in your life and bring them to a gingerbread extravaganza like no other.  Each seat comes with an extra-large castle or gingerbread man cookie, icing, and all the candy their little hearts desire.

Sign up for either of these events

Or explore sponsorship opportunities

Meet the 2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® Junior Race Director – TSRHC Patient Chris

The MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® is just a little over one month away! Each year, a TSRHC patient serves as the Junior Race Director, representing the thousands of children treated at the hospital each year. In this role, the Junior Race Director helps participants and sponsors understand how TSRHC benefits from the support of friends like the marathon. We are so excited to introduce you to our 2014 Junior Race Director, Chris!

Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_26Chris, of Holliday, Texas, has been a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for as long as he can remember. Born 12 years ago, with a condition called Short Fingered Symbrachydactyly, Chris started coming to the hospital at the young age of two months.  Short Fingered Symbrachydactyly is the most common form of a hand or arm deficiency and it is a condition in which a child is born with small or missing fingers or a missing hand. Chris’ fingers are not webbed, he has a fully formed hand, but it is just smaller than normal. Thanks to the orthopedic care that he receives at TSRHC, Chris is able to participate in what he loves most…baseball.

Chris is a very athletic adolescent whose favorite sport is baseball. He is a total fanatic- he enjoys both watching and playing! Chris is right handed, however due to his dexterity in his right hand, he was not able to grip the ball when he was younger, so he taught himself to throw left handed. Chris is a perfect example of assurance and determination. He trains with the San Diego Padres pitcher, Griffin Russell and recently pitched in the Little League World Series in Destin, Florida. Chris is very excited to serve as the 2014 Junior Race Director for this year’s MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® as a way to show his strength and give back to TSRHC for all that it has provided for him!

Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_19Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_38

For more information about this year’s marathon on Sunday, December 14, please visit:

TSRHC Honors John G. Birch, M.D., and Charles E. Johnston, M.D. at 11th Annual Fall Orthopaedic Symposium

John BirchTexas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children orthopaedic surgeons John G. Birch, M.D., and Charles E. Johnston, M.D., were recognized Friday, October 24, at the hospital’s 11th annual Fall Orthopaedic Symposium for their long-running dedication to taking care of children.

Both physicians made presentations at the symposium, titled Pediatric Orthopaedics: A Thirty-Year Experience (Times Two), and were later honored at a dinner where they were surprised with hand-carved wooden caricatures of themselves.

Drs. Birch and Johnston are assistant chiefs of staff at TSRHC, and Birch also serves as medical director of ambulatory care.

Drs. Johnston and Birch with their wooden caricatures.

Drs. Johnston & Birch with their wooden caricatures.

About Fall Orthopaedic Symposium:

The Fall Orthopaedic Symposium is designed for pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and other orthopaedic surgeons with an interest in current pediatric orthopaedic practice.

For more information about this event, view event program or visit our website.

Fall Orthopaedic Symposium 2014_073

Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running at MetroPCS Dallas Marathon

The 2014 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon is fast approaching on Sunday, December 14!

MarkChampionsinsidebackMark Followill, play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks and FC Dallas, will serve as the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon’s “Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running” runner, and with each footfall he will help raise additional funds for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), the marathon’s primary beneficiary since 1997.

On December 14, Followill will be the very last person to start the race and for every person he passes, Cotton PatchCafé will donate money to TSRHC. As the title sponsor, Cotton Patch Café, the local casual dining chain, has pledged to donate $1 for every runner Followill passes!

“For several years I’ve enjoyed running 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons,” said Followill. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to partner with Cotton Patch Café and the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon in the 2014 Last Man Running challenge. I look forward to a fun and memorable race on December 14 and can’t wait to help raise donations for a great cause like the patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.”

Followill hopes to pass a lot of runners and raise additional money for TSRHC. His progress will be tweeted (@MFollowill) the day of the race to help fans track his progress. The effort will be supported with donations from individual sponsors as well as title sponsor Cotton Patch Café. Supporters can donate to support Followill. Each person who donates $10 online is entered to win Cotton Patch Café goodies in a recurring monthly drawing. Donate today!

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Followill is featured in photos at TSRHC with two of the 2014 patient champions, Ellie and Dimitri!

Starting in 2007, several TSRHC patients offered to help represent the many bright faces treated at the hospital by becoming a patient champion. The patient champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient.

Stay tuned for more information on each of our patient champions over the coming weeks!