Giants' World Series trophy raises spirits at Shriners hospital in Sacramento
By Cathy Locke email@example.com
Published: Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011
A symbol of athletic triumph brought hope and encouragement Wednesday to children who are striving to overcome physical challenges.
For two hours, the San Francisco Giants' 2010 World Series trophy occupied a place of honor in the foyer of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento.
Patients and their families, along with hospital staff and volunteers, lined up to have their photos taken with the emblem of a hard-fought victory.
For the children the hospital serves, the event was part of the healing therapy, staff members said. The hospital provides specialized pediatric care to children with orthopedic conditions, spinal-cord injuries, burns and scars.
"It's important these children know that they can accomplish things beyond their imagination," said Kathy Rosario, a nurse in the hospital's inpatient unit.
For 17-year-old John "Luigi" Sellem of Antioch, the opportunity to have his photo taken with the World Series trophy was the highlight of his 10-month hospital stay.
Sellem was severely burned in a vehicle accident last Father's Day. He is to be released in 10 days but will return for additional surgery.
A Giants fan, Sellem was in intensive care and sedated during the World Series, but his father, John Sellem, talked to the unconscious boy about the games.
"I'd relay to him what happened here and what happened there. After he was out of critical condition, I relayed everything. It was part of the healing process," John Sellem said.
"It was exciting," Luigi Sellem said after viewing the trophy. "Like, just wow! It's an amazing trophy, it's so nice."
Staci Slaughter, the Giants senior vice president for communications, said the team has a long-standing relationship with Shriners hospitals, dating from the years when the college football East-West Shrine Game was played at the Giants' ball park.
Slaughter noted that Sacramento was the trophy's first stop outside San Francisco in January, when it was exhibited at the state Capitol and City Hall. Since then, the trophy has traveled about 20,000 miles and visited about 50 communities.
The visit to the Shriners hospital is one of the last stops before the trophy goes on the road to New York. It will be displayed next month at the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and in Troy, N.Y., the town where the team was founded, before returning for permanent exhibit at AT&T Park.
Luigi Sellem also is looking beyond his recuperation. He has a another year of high school, but after that, he said, "I'm thinking about going to college and becoming a registered nurse."
He said he would like to return to the Shriners hospital one day as a member of the medical staff.
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/04/21/3568683/giants-world-series-trophy-raises.html#ixzz1KB6t3sHU