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news News Tuesday, December 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:51 PM - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:51 PM

Meet Cristian: patient, ambassador and donor

Meet Cristian: patient, ambassador and donor

Cristian was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors to represent the health care system at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament. At the tournament, he served as a standard bearer, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they competed. His participation as an ambassador was possible because he is a patient of Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena.

Spinal surgery improves condition

Cristian was born with spina bifida. The term means "split spine" and includes a group of birth defects that affect the spine. The individual bones of the spine do not grow together, leaving an opening in the backbone.

Four of Cristian’s 12 surgeries to repair his spine were completed at the former Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles (now Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena). The treatment he received, and continues to receive, has given Cristian independence and confidence.

Interests and giving back

Cristian is a Boy Scout and recently completed his Eagle Scout project by delivering 202 stuffed animals from Build-a-Bear™ to Shriners for Children Medical Center. Cristian handed out the stuffed animals to all the patients and their siblings. It was amazing to witness his hard work and his giving back to the hospital that has continued to help him. Everyone left with a smile.

Cristian is the youngest of three children and loves being an uncle to his nieces and nephews. His best friend is his dog, Barkley. He is currently a Senior in high school and intends to pursue a degree in engineering. He plays the guitar and cello for his high school band. He is also an adviser for the National Honor Society. In his free time, Cristian enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, participating in activities such as camping, fishing, hiking and four-wheeling.

Cristian with two other people at Medical center event