140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, December 2, 2011

Today California Marathon Organizers Bring Thrill of Victory to Shriners Hospital

(SACRAMENTO) Organizers of the California International Marathon (CIM) are giving kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children® an opportunity to experience the joy of victory.

On Friday, Dec. 2, patients will meet in the hospital’s central activity area at 10:30 a.m., to compete in the Shriners Hospital marathon. Some will run, some will walk, some will use hand cycles and some will race to the finish line in wheelchairs. The CIM organizers will drape a medal around the neck of each child who completes the course. Parents, patients and staff will cheer the contestants as they cross the finish line.
Melisa Callison, a former patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children and competitive runner, will be there cheering, too. Callison, who runs using a prosthetic leg, is running two relay legs in Sunday’s California International Marathon.  
Steven Polansky, M.D., and his fellow board members for the Sacramento Running Association proposed the idea for the Shriners Hospital Marathon in 2009. “We had a handful of medals from the 2008 marathon that we did not give away and we felt that could be used in a meaningful way. We connected with Shriners Hospitals for Children and found a perfect fit. The kids are so inspiring and the mini-marathon we have in the hospital play area gives every patient a chance to run their own race,” said Dr. Polansky.
“I wish every runner competing in Sunday’s event could experience the excitement of our hospital marathon,” said Penny Lees, manager of therapeutic recreation and child life at the hospital. “It is so important for these children, no matter what challenges they face, to demonstrate their personal best and experience the thrill of victory.” Lees adds.
Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California provides specialized pediatric care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns and scars from any cause. Any child 18 years or younger is eligible for care, providing the child’s condition is within the scope of services provided. Care is provided regardless of the patients' ability to pay. For more information about Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Northern California, please call 916-453-2000 or visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

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