140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rodgers loves playing golf so much, it hurts. Ask Shriners

Camas senior has endured surgeries for bone cyst
McKinsey Rodgers has had four surgeries as a result of a bone cyst in her leg. The most recent one was just prior to her junior year.

By Paul Valencia, Columbian staff writer Friday, April 2, 2010

photo,By Zachary Kaufman, The Columbian

McKinsey Rodgers has pictures of her X-rays in her phone.

“Gotta show them off every once in a while,” said Rodgers, a senior golfer from Camas.

One picture displays the rod that was placed in her left femur when she was a fifth-grader. The second shows a different rod, one that replaced the old one from a surgery prior to her junior year.

“Just upgrading my hardware,” she joked.

Rodgers has been dealing with a unicameral bone cyst high on the femur, near the hip, since she was in the second grade. The cyst, which makes the bone brittle, has been the cause of two fractures. She has endured four surgeries and knows another one is in the future.

With all that, Rodgers keeps her spirits up with a quick quip about her condition and by keeping busy.

“I never really wanted to be held back. I refused to be,” Rodgers said. “I wanted to go out and do what everyone else was doing. I just tried to push through it and tried normal things.”

Rodgers used to play soccer. She still hits the slopes to snowboard when she gets the chance. And then there is her golf. Rodgers finished third last year at the Class 3A district tournament, advancing to state.

It might not take a lot of endurance to play the game, but an athlete is on her feet for hours at a time.

“I just have to deal with it,” Rodgers said. “I love golf. It’s something I put up with. I enjoy what I do. To me, it’s worth it. Like going snowboarding in the winter ... being sore the next day, it’s totally worth it.”

She also figured the pain will not last forever. Experts have told her that the cyst should go away. In fact, she was hoping it would be gone by now.

“They usually don’t see these things with adults,” Rodgers said. “Mine’s being very stubborn.”

The plan is to have surgery to remove the rod this summer, although that could be delayed. Rodgers said when it is time for this rod to be taken out of the bone, it should be her final surgery.

She broke the femur the first time as a second-grader. She still doesn’t know how it happened, but that is when doctors noticed the cyst. Then, while playing tag as a fifth-grader, “I twisted wrong, fell down, and it snapped,” she recalled.

Her condition and the surgeries have led to several weeks’ worth of stays at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland.

“For a little kid, that’s a long time to be stuck in a hospital,” Rodgers said.

She also has seen first-hand what Shriners can do for other patients, other families.

“Everything they do is amazing,” she said. “The help they give kids there is just amazing.”

For her senior project, Rodgers organized a golf tournament to raise funds for the hospital.

“It was really hard, a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” Rodgers acknowledged.

She went door-to-door to businesses, looking for sponsors, asking for donations, for any help. She had to deal with receipts for tax purposes.

“There was a lot of paperwork with the details,” Rodgers said.

She has not figured out all of the expenses just yet, but she said she expects to donate more than $1,500 to Shriners. She also would like to put on another tournament in the future. This learning experience could make for an even larger amount next time.

As far as her final golf season with Camas, Rodgers has a few goals in mind.

“I’d really like our team to make it four years in a row, with league and district,” she said. “It would be nice to keep that string alive.”

She also has high expectations for her own game.

“I just hope to place better at district. I want to claim first or second and go to state again. Hopefully, I’ll make it to the second day of state this year,” she said.

The final results are undetermined, but with her successful senior project and the prospect of getting that rod out of her soon-to-be healthy leg, it already has been a good year for McKinsey Rodgers.

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