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Rose Parade float rider profiles

Rose Parade float rider profiles


Lily – National Patient Ambassador, Shriners Hospitals for Children

A National Patient Ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children, Lily, of Paducah, Kentucky, was born with fibular hemimelia. This means she did not have a fibula, the outer thin bone that runs from the knee to the ankle, in her right leg. She underwent a Syme's amputation, which is an amputation done through the ankle joint that helps to preserve the heel pad, and she received her first prosthesis a few months later.

When Lily was 18 months old, she became a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington. Over the years, Lily has undergone five surgeries to straighten her remaining right leg and has received more prosthetic limbs than she can count. A student at the University of Kentucky, Lily is studying to be a nurse because of the care she has received at Lexington Shriners Medical Center. "I hope to be a nurse at Shriners Hospital after graduating," said Lily. "It is my dream to help provide the same care I received all my life to others as a way to show my gratitude for the Shriners health care system."


Riley – National Patient Ambassador, Shriners Hospitals for Children

Riley is a National Patient Ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children for 2018-2019. A patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa for most of his life, Riley was born with hereditary multiple exostoses (HME), a genetic condition which causes irregular bone growth. Over time, Riley has had more than a dozen surgeries to remove growths and lengthen bones in his arms and legs.

Riley has been a very active patient ambassador for the Tampa Shriners Hospital for several years. He also mentors another child with the same rare condition, which Riley said is "one of the best things that happened to me this year." That child's mother said that meeting Riley and his family gave them hope. Riley's family also supports a golf tournament organized by Riley's dad's former employer. Since 2002, the C&W Charity Golf Classic has raised more than $500,000 to benefit the Tampa Shriners Hospital.

"I plan on becoming a Shriner when I grow up," Riley said. "I want to be known as someone who gave of his time and his money."

Jim and Patsy Cain

Jim and Patsy Cain – Imperial Potentate and First Lady, Shriners International

Jim Cain is the Imperial Potentate, or CEO, of Shriners International, the fraternity that founded and continues to support Shriners Hospitals for Children as its official philanthropy. His wife, Patsy, has the title of First Lady. Cain became a Shriner because he saw "a genuine outlook for being a better man and doing for others." He has served at the fraternity's international board level for 10 years, including chairing several committees and serving as liaison officer for six of our hospitals.

Concern and compassion for others are central to Jim Cain's commitment to the fraternity and philanthropy. "People with challenges are near and dear to my heart. What we can offer today, through our philanthropy, is truly amazing – we need to share that with as many children as we can." He worked for the L&N Railroad for many years, in several capacities.

As First Lady, Patsy Cain leads a fundraising effort to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. Her program, Little POPS of Love, supports the orthotics and prosthetics program, which provides devices that help children become as independent as possible and achieve amazing things. The Cains are natives and lifetime residents of Nashville, Tennessee, have two children and 2 grandchildren, and have been married for 51 years.

Rachel, seated in wheelchair, smiling

Rachel – Patient, Shriners Hospitals for Children

Rachel, 17, was born with a severe form of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI, also known as brittle bone disease), and was only expected to live for days. The condition causes bones to break easily, often for no apparent reason.

Thanks to Children of Glass, a televised documentary on OI that her grandfather happened to see, her family learned of the research work being done at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada on OI. The family also learned about the development of IV infusion therapy using the medication pamidronate, and they headed for the hospital as soon as possible. The pamidronate therapy dramatically reduced the occurrence of bone fractures, and when Rachel was 3, she was able to undergo surgery to place telescoping titanium rods in her leg bones, which, along with assistive devices and intensive physical therapy, allowed Rachel to learn to walk. Rachel has continued to receive pamidronate and other services from the Canada Shriners Hospital over the years.

A resident of Glendale, California, Rachel began taking college courses when she was 14, and last summer she studied in Europe through a Glendale Community College program. "Because I had the unique experience of growing up as a Shriners patient, my childhood was filled with hope and love," said Rachel. Joining Rachel on the float is her father, Phil.

RJ Mitte

RJ Mitte – Actor, former patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children

Noted actor and model RJ Mitte, perhaps best known for his role as Walter "Flynn" White, Jr. on the acclaimed television series Breaking Bad, is also a former patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Shreveport. where he received treatment for cerebral palsy throughout most of his childhood. Mitte is also a Love to the rescue® ambassador for the health care system, as well as spokesperson for its #Cutthebull anti-bullying campaign. Mitte was bullied as a child, and his willingness to share his story sheds light and insight on this issue, especially as it affects children with disabilities.

After moving to Hollywood in 2006, Mitte began his acting career with several appearances as an extra on Hannah Montana Show, 7th Heaven and Weeds. He was also part of the cast of Switched at Birth. He appeared in the film Dixieland, and was featured in a modeling campaign for GAP International, as well as in several Men's Fashion Week shows around the globe.


Avery Brinkley – International Master Councilor, DeMolay International

In June of 2018, Avery Brinkley was elected International Master Councilor of DeMolay International, an organization for young men between 12 and 21 that seeks to develop leadership skills and good moral character.

He previously served as Southern California Jurisdiction Master Councilor. Avery began his DeMolay career at 14, and has served in several capacities since age 16, when he was Master Councilor of Yorba Linda Chapter. He became Southern California Jurisdiction Congress Secretary in 2016. While in that position, he was awarded the organization's Distinguished Service Award. He has also earned the Lamp of Knowledge, Representative DeMolay and the Founders Membership Award. He is a Knight of the Saint Bernard Priory. In 2016, he was created a Chevalier, the highest award that may be earned by an active member of DeMolay.


Shirley Henley – Supreme Queen, Daughters of the Nile

Shirley Henley, a member of Daughters of the Nile for more than 40 years, is currently serving the organization as Supreme Queen. Daughters of the Nile, which has more than 20,000 members, is an international fraternal organization for women that was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1913. The organization supports Shriners Hospitals for Children as its sole philanthropy, and over time has donated several million dollars to the health care system. Members also volunteer their time, and provide clothes and toys.

Henley has a particularly strong and close connection to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Her grandson was a patient at our Lexington, Kentucky, location, and she was a volunteer at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati for more than 30 years. During that time, she was also temporarily employed at the hospital as a play therapist. As Supreme Queen, Henley will make 133 official visits to temples and other affiliations, and will visit the Shriners Hospitals for Children locations in the U.S. and Canada. She previously served as Queen of Ishtar Temple 54 in Cincinnati in 1981 and 2008, and is a dual member of Milcah Temple 77 in Charleston, South Carolina.

George and Deanna

George and Deanna Mitchell – Past Imperial Potentate and First Lady, Shriners International

George and Deanna Mitchell, of Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada, served as Imperial Potentate (CEO) and First Lady of the Shriners International fraternity for the 2010-2011 Imperial Year. Mitchell is the president and owner of Mitchell's Bunsmaster Bakery and Deli, and Maple Leaf Investments, and was involved in the motel business and real estate development for several years.

Mitchell is a proud member of Rameses Shriners, belonging to several clubs. He is a member of several other Masonic organizations and clubs as well as DeMolay International, and is an emeritus member of the board of governors of the Shriners Hospitals health care system's location in Erie, Pennsylvania. As First Lady of the fraternity, Deanna Mitchell led a fundraising program, Membership: The Heartbeat of the Shrine, which focused on raising funds to assist with membership development efforts. In 1922, the fraternity founded the Shriners Hospitals for Children health care system as its official philanthropy. Members of the fraternity continue to support the unique health care system through donations of both money and time. The Mitchells have two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Float outwalkers

Katherine Au, M.D., Pediatric Microvascular Hand Surgeon, Shriners for Children Medical Center

Rick Bushnell, M.D., Chief Anesthesiologist, Shriners for Children Medical Center and member of Al Malaikah Shriners

Cristian, Patient, Shriners for Children Medical Center

John Howe, Past Potentate, Khedive Shriners

Val Howe, Past First Lady, Khedive Shriners

Kenny Loftis, Member, Al Menah Shriners

Dan Mellor, Past Potentate, Gizeh Shriners

Theresa Mellor, Past First Lady, Gizeh Shriners

Tina Mincer, Former Patient, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles

Bruce Ponoroff, Chief Rabban, Al Malaikah Shriners

Selina Poon, M.D., Pediatric Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Shriners for Children Medical Center

Guy Richmond, Potentate, Al Malaikah Shriners

Karla Richmond, First Lady, Al Malaikah Shriners