Community Conversations

Community Conversations Winter 2023


A letter from Mel Bower, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Shriners Children’s

Dear Readers,

As the end of the year rolls around, I notice a key change. People are as busy as ever, but the light is lower, warmer, and there’s an undertone of something that’s sometimes missing during other times of the year. Hope.

This issue contains stories of medical odysseys: journeys that started in uncertainty but led to a place of hope and healing. At Shriners Children’s, our clinicians find a way to say yes. With experience, expertise and compassion, they create custom care plans and encourage their patients to articulate their goals and reach for their dreams.

You’ll meet a boy with a rare genetic condition that causes devastating effects on the bones and internal organs. You’ll meet a girl who received a terrible injury during an artillery strike in her home country of Ukraine. You’ll meet a young woman born with a knee condition so painful, despite years of treatment and surgeries, that she was about to give up on her dreams.

The connection they share? Finding answers and renewed hope here at Shriners Children’s.

Our clinicians work here because they want to help children with the most challenging of cases. In doing so, they become among the best in the world. Their dedication to providing care that changes lives is truly inspiring to me.

I wish you and yours a season of inspiration and hope.

Mel Bower
Chief Marketing & Communication Officer, Shriners Children’s


Clara was born with amniotic band syndrome she was missing the lower part of her leg, and her hands and fingers were affected as well. She recently underwent a hand surgery that transformed the look and functionality of her hand. Her mom, Joleigh, had this to say:

“I am constantly blown away by the entire team at Shriners Children’s and all you do every day … Thanks for all you have done over the last 11 years to make Clara’s life better, and especially for your patience during her toddler and preschool years … We are always so grateful.”