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news News Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:11 PM - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:11 PM

Lindsay Jones

2018 Rainbow of Hope winner

Lindsay Jones

Shriners Hospitals for Children —Twin Cities is proud to announce Lindsay Jones as one of this year’s Rainbow of Hope award winners. This prestigious award recognizes three current or former patients for the contributions they have made to their communities and ability to overcome life’s challenges with a positive attitude. Each winner receives a gift and their names are placed on the Rainbow of Hope plaque in the hospital’s main lobby. The award program was started 30 years ago by former Board member Bill Ash, from Osman Shrine, and Todd Anderson, former director of orthotics and prosthetics at the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital. Although both of these men have since passed away, they would take great pride in knowing the program they started continues to grow.

At 18 months of age, Lindsay Jones, of Sheffield, Iowa, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). During her routine 15-month appointment, Lindsay’s pediatrician noticed that her ankle was swollen and told her parents to put her in more supportive shoes for a bit to see if that made a difference. A few weeks later, unfortunately, the other ankle and knee became swollen as well. After several appointments, X-rays and tests, Lindsay was diagnosed with JIA.

Lindsay saw a local rheumatologist for the first few months, but her care team decided it was a better option for her to see a pediatric rheumatologist, someone who specializes in arthritis in little bodies. Thanks to Dr. Lee Lane and Steve Donaldson, Shriners from El Kahir temple, the Jones family came to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. They were excited about the change in care, and additionally pleased to learn that they were going to be able to see Thomas G. Mason, M.D. They had been referred to see Dr. Mason at the Mayo Clinic by their local rheumatologist and were happy to hear that he also treats patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Lindsay is now 17 years old. Because she was diagnosed with JIA at such a young age, she has developed a strong will and high pain tolerance. Her mother, Marilee, credits Lindsay’s strong spirit to the ups and downs of JIA as well as numerous leg braces, wrist braces, rigorous physical therapy, water therapy, blood work, tests and doctor appointments.

Having JIA is just one chapter of Lindsay’s story. She also endured eye surgery at the age of 6, a liver laceration due to an ATV accident and a broken wrist from basketball. A severe concussion from a line drive while pitching softball still causes frequent migraines today. Nevertheless, she remains positive and has an appreciation for being healthy and able to do so much. Lindsay plays softball, volleyball and basketball, and gives her all in everything she tries, even if it means a lot of pain and long recovery afterwards.

Lindsay’s list of community support and reasons why she is a role model is a long one. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Future Farmers of America. She has completed fundraising for many organizations, including Children’s Miracle Network, Spirit of West Fork, and Coaches Versus Cancer. Lindsay volunteers at vacation Bible school and works at a daycare before school and as her sports schedules permit.

One of her proudest moments was her National Honor Society project in December of 2017. Lindsay decided to hold a fundraiser for a young boy named Landon who is battling cancer. She worked with her school and the opposing team to dedicate a high school basketball game to Landon. The entire crowd wore orange and when Lindsay made an announcement about the fundraiser during the game, the cheerleaders from both teams proceeded to pass a donation bucket through the crowd. Lindsay made a bet with her principal and he agreed to dye his hair orange if she could raise $1,000 by the start of the last game of the night. Her efforts paid off when she happily presented $1,300 to Landon's family, and her principal ended up with orange hair! The following week a neighboring school contacted her to see if she would be willing to help one of their students replicate the fundraiser at their school. As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we feel this is very fitting in Lindsay’s case.