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news News Thursday, September 5, 2019 Thursday, September 5, 2019 4:10 PM - Thursday, September 5, 2019 4:10 PM

Honoring National Grandparents Day!

Honoring National Grandparents Day!

In honor of Grandparents Day we wanted to highlight one of the incredible grandfather-granddaughter relationships at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland: Stan and his granddaughter Kate! Stan is Kate’s constant companion and brings her to all of her appointments at the Portland Shriners Hospital. In addition, he is a member of the Portland Shriners Hospital parent advisory committee, and also one of Kate’s best friends. We recently had a question and answer session with Stan.

Q. When were you first introduced to the Portland Shriners Hospital?

A. When Kate was 3 years old, we were referred to the Portland Shriners Hospital after I was constantly inquiring about services for children with disabilities.

Q. Why did your family choose Shriners Hospitals for Children for your granddaughter’s care?

A. The Portland Shriners Hospital offered Kate every aspect of care and therapy she needed, all under one roof. From orthopaedic surgery on her hips, to providing ankle-foot orthotics, to physical, occupational and speech therapy, providing equipment such as walkers, trikes, standers, etc., to family life events and activities – Shriners Hospital is a prayer answered for families who are seeking help for their child. However, having said that, I sincerely believe Shriners' biggest asset is its people – they’re in it together, with us.

Q. How has your granddaughter progressed since receiving treatment?

A. Kate has progressed in leaps and bounds. Kate’s mobility is nothing short of amazing since beginning her physical therapy at the Portland Shriners Hospital, as has her speech development and articulation. The hip dysplasia surgery performed when she was 4 has and will do wonders for her future comfort and ability to walk without pain, and she has certainly grown mentally. Kate has become more confident because of her experience with the Portland Shriners Hospital, and their holistic approach to treatment has meant that every aspect of her progress in one area has benefited other areas in need of development.

Q. What are some things that you and Kate enjoy doing together?

A. We spend a lot of time together driving to and from therapy sessions, school and trips to our home in Salem, where Kate enjoys quality time with my wife (a retired elementary school teacher who now spends countless hours teaching Kate) and me. We constantly tell silly jokes and Kate loves to back-seat drive – telling me when to turn and asking questions such as “where do all the trees come from” and, of course, “are we there yet?" I love creating opportunities for Kate to verbalize – it’s so good for her speech advancement.

Q. You are very involved in Kate’s care, and you serve on the parent advisory committee. Why is it important for you to be active in her care?

A. Coming to grips with the reality of Kate’s injury was difficult for our family. However, I found that by committing to becoming Kate’s advocate, I had an avenue where I could proactively immerse myself into the never-ending journey that is doing the research, outreach, and cultivating relationships with those who are key to Kate’s development. Being a member of Shriners parent advisory committee is simply an extension of this commitment, allowing me to offer insights and advice to parents and the hospital, as well as give back to an organization that has done so much for us.

Q. What would you tell a prospective patient/parent about the Portland Shriners Hospital?

A. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland is a family, and when you bring your child to Shriners Hospital you become part of that family. The overwhelming sense of being welcomed in an environment that focuses on Kate’s care, success and happiness is something I hadn’t experienced before. Also, the Portland Shriners Hospital has such a vast array of expertise, allowing them to treat the whole person – including the patient’s family. In fact, Shriners Hospital helped me finally find peace of mind when I acknowledged the reality of Kate’s condition and genuinely accepted Kate for who she is and not who I wanted her to become.

Stan and Kate at hospital