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, 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!
As a seven year old with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), Emily Hough has accomplished more than most. While receiving treatment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), Emily had the idea to create sock monkeys for other children that were preparing for surgery.
Emily’s condition is an autoimmune dysfunction that affects just 3 out of 1 million children. Though it is rare it appears mostly in females. JDM is often mistaken for muscular dystrophy as it has similar symptoms; however, in reality they are very different. The symptoms include muscle weakness, muscle inflammation, red rashes on the face, hands, and other major body joints, and calcium deposits under the skin.
These symptoms are products of the body’s immune system attacking its own blood vessels. Despite being a patient herself, Emily wanted to help others in the hospital, as well as help the hospital itself. Since establishing Emily’s Monkeys, she has had a few opportunities to donate her creations, but she continues to reach higher and higher.
Starting Small and Going Strong
Emily’s father Josh thought it would be a good idea to start a fundraiser, and where better than Emily’s favorite donut shop, The Hole Thing in Forney, Texas? They created special monkey-shaped donuts, doubled all of the proceeds, and delivered it to TSRHC.
Since then, Emily has not let her JDM hold her back. She co-wrote and published her first children’s book based on her sock monkeys and has been paying it forward ever since. Not only has she donated copies of the book to TSRHC and local schools, she is donating thirty percent of the book’s proceeds to three different charities: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and CureJM.
Photo Credit: Forney ISD Director of Communications Larry Coker