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Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Chelsey, age 17 of Pecan Gap, Texas

Chelsey Gonzales

Chelsey, age 17 of Pecan Gap, Texas, has been treated at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) since birth. When she was only 6 hours old, she received a below the knee amputation, so she has worn a prosthesis her whole life. This year will be Chelsey’s first time on the TSRHC ski trip and she is very excited to bond with other kids with similar disabilities as her. She will be celebrating her 18th birthday in Colorado as well! When she grows up, Chelsey hopes to be a cosmetologist because she enjoys doing her friend’s makeup and hair.

About TSRHC’s Ski Trip:
Since 1981, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has hosted an Annual Amputee Ski Trip for patients. Fourteen teenage patients, as well as medical staff and chaperones, spend a week at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), in Winter Park, Colorado.

In a continuing effort to improve the lives of patients, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children recognized that snow skiing is well suited for amputees, and with special equipment, they quickly become competitive and often excel at the sport.

Skiing at the renowned National Sports Center for the Disabled creates a focus for the trip, but the personal growth and challenges the teens overcome are often more life-changing than the actual accomplishment of skiing. The goal of the trip is to foster a sense of self-confidence, discovery and independence for these teens.

Since the first Amputee Ski Trip in 1981, the community has teamed up with the hospital to make this opportunity possible to patient families. American Airlines has sponsored the trip since 2005. Prior to that, Delta Airlines supported the event for more than 20 years. Multiple other generous supporters from the community, including the Stephen M. Seay Foundation help make this trip possible!

Patients Gear Up for 34th Annual Ski Trip 





Amputee patients filled the Prosthetics and Orthotics department of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) Saturday morning in eager anticipation of the 34th annual TSRHC ski trip. 14 excited teenage amputees picked out brand new, top of the line St. Bernard Sports jackets for the upcoming trip to Winter Park Colorado. St. Bernard Sports generously donated the ski jackets to our amputees to keep as a warm memento of their ski adventure. American Airlines will fly the teens, along with medical staff and chaperones to The National Sports Center for the Disabled on Monday February 9th. American Airlines has been a proud sponsor of the TSRHC ski trip for the last 10 years.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Visit with the Michigan State Spartans

On Monday, December 29, the Michigan State University Spartans paid a visit to the patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Bo Howard, Justin Williams, Kai HowardMichigan State University will be playing Baylor University on New Year’s Day at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Spartan football players and coaches filled TSRHC’s Atrium and signed hats, t-shirts and posters for patients and their families. Many of the players also asked for autographs from the patients on their TSRHC hats.


Thank you for visiting the patients and we wish you luck in the Cotton Bowl!

View additional photos from the event on TSRHC’s Facebook page and read media coverage online:
Detroit Free Press
M Live
Dallas Morning News

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