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news News Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Tuesday, July 16, 2019 4:35 PM - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 4:35 PM

Portland Shriners Hospital announces 2019 standard bearer

Patient ambassador and scoliosis patient to represent hospital at PGA TOUR event

Portland Shriners Hospital announces 2019 standard bearer

The Portland Shriners Hospital is pleased to introduce our 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open standard bearer, Matthew!

Matthew was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors throughout the country to represent the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system at the tournament, where he will serve as a standard bearer throughout the weekend, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “inside the ropes” opportunity at a PGA TOUR event, as well as the chance to share how Shriners Hospitals have helped transform his life. Matthew was diagnosed with scoliosis the summer before his eighth grade year. He was quickly referred to the Portland Shriners Hospital, where X-rays revealed he had a 64-degree spinal curve.

Matthew was first fitted for a brace, which he wore 22 hours per day for eight months while he waited for his growth plates to close. When they did, the amazing Michelle Welborn, M.D., scheduled the surgery in which she inserted two titanium rods in his spine and secured them with screws. After a year of rehabilitation, Matthew has returned to his favorite sport – golf – and plays for his high school team. Matthew is the Shriners Hospitals for Children west region ambassador for this year’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Pro-Am.

The care Matthew received at the Portland Shriners Hospital piqued his interest in science, which he hopes to study more in college. In his free time, Matthew likes to draw, explore Oregon and play video games. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, with his parents, Mike and Jennifer, older brother, Maxwell, dog, Cosmo, and cat, James.

The Portland Shriners Hospital staff is so excited to be represented by Matthew and can't wait to hear all about his incredible experience.