This weekend we were actually off to the Shrine All Star Soccer game. Hard to believe that we did that only two weeks after surgery. D was asked to be an assistant coach and since Zeke is a Shriner's patient, he was the honorary captain. (They always ask a couple of Shrine patients to be honorary captains.) Zeke helped with practice, walked in the parade, and helped on the sidelines during the game.
|Big kids waiting for the Papio Days parade to start|
|All the folks from our town-#1 is our regular season goalie, Matt, then there's D and Zeke|
|Getting a trophy and medal for being honorary captain|
|Zeke with the whole Shrine South team|
If you don't know about Shriner's, we would be the first to tell you that they have a great mission: to help kids get access to free medical care. As part of this mission, the Shrine chapters in Nebraska host both a football and soccer all star game as part of their fundraising. This fundraising then supports the various Shrine hospitals around the U.S. and also helps off set the costs associated with the local Shriner programs like costs to transport patients to the hospitals and children's events for the kids serviced by the Shriner hospitals (like trick or treating at Halloween). Zeke's care has all been provided free of charge by Shriner's Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. His actual surgery was too complicated for the Minneapolis hospital so it was done at the Mayo Clinic since that is where his surgeon normally practices but the actual billing is supposed to go through Shriner's. We did have to pay for his MRI which was a pre surgery procedure done at our local children's hospital. Shriner's does bill insurance but after that, they bear the full financial weight for any procedures. Depending on the hospital, Shriner's specializes in different types of care. Some specialize in helping kids with orthopedic issues including prosthetics. Others do burn care. Others work on cleft lip and palettes. They want no child turned away for medical care simply because a child's family can't pay for the services.
We ended up spending the whole weekend in Omaha and hitting the zoo and aquarium on Sunday. Considering that my kids have had a wild last few weeks (Minnesota trip and surgery, late night VBS, late night t ball game, plus the Shrine weekend) they did great. We only did the rainforest, the butterflies, the aquarium and lunch but that was plenty. So nice to be home though. With D gone on Thursday and Friday nights, it gave the big kids and I a chance to decorate the dining room for Father's Day. We didn't do anything to spectacular but the kids had fun blowing up balloons, making the banner, and hanging streamers from the door.