One of the Supported Organizations the Soule Family Foundation helps to support is the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City. Specifically, the Foundation has chosen to support the wheelchair and customized seating division for children who need assistance with mobility.
Adrian is a young man born with spina bifida. He wants to be a chef so he is working in the kitchen for his occupational therapy. He also rides his adaptive bike and has recently taken up skiing.
Lily is one of the patient ambassadors for the hospital. She has a very outgoing personality and loves nothing better than to get her hands on a microphone. She entertains her family and friends and has learned to dance in her wheelchair. She also rides an adaptive bike and was recently featured in a Shriner’s TV commercial.
Myiles has congenital muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair since he was fifteen months old. The picture of Myiles shows him as a very dapper young man in a fedora, long sleeve dress shirt, and a color coordinated tie. Hospital staff can only remember two times that he wasn’t dressed like the cover of GQ magazine and they were the two times he was in a Halloween costume. One year he was Batman and last year he was Superman.
The wheelchair department made his costumes so that they incorporated the wheelchair. The result of these adaptive costumes was a huge increase in his self-confidence when he was trick or treating with his friends. Instead of people just having his friends pass candy back to him, they would come down from the porch to rave about his costume and give him his treat personally.
Next we learned about Zoey. She is shown with Dr. Kristen Carroll, Chief of Staff at the Hospital. Dr. Carroll is wearing a tee shirt emblazoned with #cutthebull. That is the Shriners program to curtail harassment of children. Children with handicaps are twice as likely to experience hazing and ridicule. Zoey is one child who has faced this problem. She was born with cerebral palsy. Since she has become a patient ambassador and has begun to meet and work with other children her self-confidence has grown dramatically. Just the increase in self-confidence alone has helped to diminish the derision from other children.
This is a quotation from a Shriner Hospital report: “We truly appreciate the sustained generosity of the Walter A. and Charlotte Soule Family Foundation. Your support for the past 20 years has helped us to carry out our mission to provide the highest quality pediatric orthopedic care, regardless of anyone’s ability to pay. Words can only begin to convey the heartfelt gratitude of the staff, children, and families at Shriners Hospital for Children-Salt Lake City to the Board of the Foundation for the sustained support of the hospital. The smiles of the kids tell the real story!”