Shriners Hospitals for Children to Participate in 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade

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Float Presents the Message of Health, Love and Resilience

From left to right: Marc Mendoza (patient,) Sally Bixby (president Tournament of Roses,) David Wehmeyer (Potentate, Al Malaikah Shriners) and Alyssa Mercado (patient.)

" is a pleasure to be a part of an event that shares the Shriners Hospitals for Children’s passion for children and their well-being,” said Alan Madsen, Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Shriners Hospitals for Children® is proud to participate in the 124th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, in Pasadena, Calif. The Shriners Hospitals for Children float entitled, “Helping Kids Live their Dreams,” will be among the many floral floats, marching bands and equestrian shows seen by millions of spectators around the world. The “Helping Kids Live their Dreams” theme symbolizes Shriners Hospitals for Children’s dedication to improving the health and well-being of children so they can reach their full potential.

This year’s Tournament of Roses theme – “Oh, the Places You'll Go!" – inspires wonder and a sense of adventure, encouraging people of all ages to reach higher and create and explore a world that is full of possibility, rich with imagination and bursting with discovery.

“Shriners Hospitals for Children’s mission is to ensure we give the best care possible so children can imagine – and realize – all of the things they can be and do. This spirit embodies the Tournament of Roses’ theme that there are no limits to what children can accomplish,” said Alan Madsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “This marks the third straight year we are participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade and it is a pleasure to be a part of an event that shares the Shriners Hospitals for Children’s passion for children and their well-being.”

Riding on the “Helping Kids Live their Dreams” float will be representatives from Shriners International as well as four patients from Shriners Hospitals for Children that exemplify the hospitals mission. They include:

  •     Carrie Holmstrom. In April 2006, Carrie’s life changed in an instant when a single-car accident left her with second-, third- and fourth-degree burns covering 70 percent of her body. Due to her injuries, both of Carrie’s feet and all the fingers on her right hand were amputated. She awoke from a medically induced coma with her future as a potential goalkeeper on the U.S. Olympic soccer team seriously in doubt. Carrie credits Shriners Hospitals for Children for her miraculous recovery. She took her first steps on prosthetic legs at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield (Mass.) in December 2006 and recently ran her first 5K. Carrie, age 23, lives in Houston and is a public relations specialist. She is passionate about Shriners Hospitals for Children and believes wholeheartedly in the organization that saved her life.
  •     Stephani Pineda. Stephanie, age 14, survived a house fire three years ago that killed her father and two brothers. She sustained burns on over 30 percent of her body. The local hospital where she was taken after the accident was ready to disconnect her from life support when a social worker mentioned that Shriners Hospitals for Children could help. Not only, did Shriners Hospitals for Children save her life but also gave Stephani and her mother the physical and mental support they needed to face the new challenges ahead. Stephanie lives in Hesperia, Calif. with her mother, Guadalupe.
  •     Hunter Woodhall. Hunter, age 13, is one of two 2012-13 Shriners Hospitals for Children national Patient Ambassadors. Hunter was born with fibular hemimelia, a rare condition that causes a shortening or absence of one of the two bones in the calf. After exploring options that offered no real hope, Hunter’s family consulted a team of experts at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa, where specialists amputated both of Hunter’s legs. Just 11 months old at the time, Hunter was fitted with prosthetic legs and was soon walking and running around. Years later, his family moved to Utah, where Hunter became a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City. Hunter, an accomplished athlete, was given several orthopaedic options that allowed him more flexibility in multiple sports. He was fitted with one of the first Flex-Foot Cheetah custom feet that the hospital had ever provided (for running), as well as special liners for wrestling. Hunters also plays basketball, football and soccer, snow skis, swims and roller blades.
  •     Jérémy Gabriel. Jérémy, age 16, is the second 2012-13 Shriners Hospitals for Children national Patient Ambassador. Jérémy, of Québec City, Canada, was born prematurely and diagnosed at six months with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes head, skull and facial deformities and absent or malformed ears (he was born deaf). At age six, Jérémy was treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada in Montreal, where he received an implantable hearing device called a bone-anchored hearing aid, or BAHA. After the surgery, Jérémy was fascinated with sound and discovered he could sing with perfect pitch. He attends a high school for performing arts, where he is preparing for a music career. Jérémy has recorded two albums, co-authored a book, and performed for Céline Dion and the Pope. He is scheduled for additional facial reconstructive surgery next year to improve his breathing and chewing.

To increase awareness of the care Shriners Hospitals for Children provides at its 22 facilities, in June 2012 it launched “Love to the rescue™,” a national advertising and public relations campaign that tells the Shriners Hospitals for Children story and supports their mission of providing specialized caring for children by driving donations. The initiative demonstrates that love is the driving force behind the Shriners Hospitals for Children mission, from medical breakthroughs to patient care to supporting families.

About the Tournament of Roses
The festival began in 1890 and features flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians and, since 1902, the Rose Bowl college football game, produced by the nonprofit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The Rose Parade will be broadcast live by: ABC, NBC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA-CW and Univision. Don’t forget to tune in on Tues., Jan. 1, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. PST / 11 a.m. EST.

For additional information on the Rose Parade, visit


About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children® is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 facilities, located in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Media Contacts:
Kate Sang | 646-500-7693

Fabiana Lowe | 813-334-4493

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Fabiana Lowe
Shriners Hospitals for Children
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