Kevin Nedza runs his third marathon in October when he races in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This time he’ll be running for a charity that’s near to his heart. Kevin is part of the charity race team supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children. He laces up his running shoes in support of the hospital system that has given so much to his younger sister Samantha.
Samantha was born with a condition known as Erb’s palsy, which involved permanent nerve damage in her left shoulder because of a complication during delivery. As a young child her family brought her to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia. “My father says he thinks she went to Shriners Hospitals the first time when she was around 3. As my father put it ‘Shriners wanted to know what was wrong, not whether or not you had insurance,’” Kevin said.
Samantha, now age 17, still makes annual visits to the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital. “The doctors there performed three surgeries for Samantha’s arm and shoulder, as new medical advances were developed they tested out state-of-the-art procedures with her, and used her case in published research that will help other children with this condition,” Kevin writes on his personal marathon fundraising page.
This is Kevin’s first time raising money for an organization during a race and he is thrilled to support our pediatric hospitals. “Shriners Hospital has turned what should have been a debilitating injury into something that has not held her back in life one bit.” Samantha enjoys playing soccer and plans to pursue a career in the medical field. “Due to growing up with the injury and all the time she spent in medical care she has always been interested in the medical field. She has excelled at school and recently became certified as an emergency medical technician,” he said. “Samantha plans on studying to be an occupational therapist after she graduates from high school.”
Shriners Hospitals for Children has been with Samantha and her family every step of the way. We hope you’ll consider supporting Kevin and other members of Shriners Hospitals for Children charity marathon team before they step off on October 8 in the Chicago Marathon.
Pictured: (top right) Kevin at the marathon; (above) A young Samantha at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital and Samantha today, holding her recently earned EMS certificate.