140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, February 28, 2014

Walking for Shriners Hospital for Children


A child’s dream becomes a woman’s mission.

A big dream dawned in the heart of a young girl from Arizona: at the tender age of 12, Anna Harrington yearned to walk across the United States to support an important cause.

The budding young adventurer from Tucson, with curly red hair and an aspiration to partake in a bold, cross-country undertaking to help others, eventually grew up, got married, and had a son she named Christian. Christian has grown into a remarkable young man. He has enlisted in the Navy, and will leave for boot camp in March. By her own description, she lived a “very uneventful life” but enjoyed her years as a stay-at-home mom. Anna found time to foster animals from her local animal shelter, play ice hockey, and, of course, walk.

A few years ago, she moved to Meridian, Idaho, a suburb of the State’s capital city of Boise. Anna cherished the opportunities the beautiful State of Idaho had to offer: camping in the rugged outdoors; fishing in the pristine lakes, rivers, and ponds; taking photographs of the exquisite terrain; steep, craggy mountains; and elegant trees that abundantly line the Boise River—and after which the City took its French moniker (“les bois”).

Sadly, in 2005, her nephew developed scoliosis, a debilitating musculoskeletal disorder, which was exacerbated by the fact that he was also a paraplegic. Since the local hospital did not have the facilities to perform the required surgery, Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento, California, accepted him as a patient—and the surgery was successfully performed. When visiting her nephew at the hospital, Anna noticed the diversity of medical cases, the magnitude of their respective needs, and the impact on the children’s families. She visited with families who were also grateful for the world-class, life-altering, (no-cost) medical care administered at the facility.

Her heart, brimming with respect and gratitude, and her mind, cognitively knowing this was the answer to her life-long dream, rekindled in Anna the incentive and motivation to accomplish her distant desire to walk across America—to support a worthy cause. She had vicariously happened upon the attainment of her worthwhile mission through the unfortunate medical condition of her nephew!

Now, instead of dreaming, Anna is “preparing”. As the March, 2014, expedition kickoff approaches, and as the unknowns diminish, she is eager to begin an adventure she dreamed of so many years ago. Anna knows that....

A child’s dream had become a woman’s mission.

No comments: