Emily Jacobson is a recipient of the 2018 Rainbow of Hope Award
MINNEAPOLIS – Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Twin Cities is proud to announce Emily Jacobson as one of this year’s Rainbow of Hope award winners. This prestigious award recognizes three current or former patients for the contributions they have made to their communities and their ability to overcome life’s challenges with a positive attitude. Each winner receives a gift and their names are placed on the Rainbow of Hope plaque in the hospital’s main lobby. The award program was started 30 years ago by former Board member Bill Ash, from Osman Shrine, and Todd Anderson, former director of orthotics and prosthetics at the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital. Although both of these men have since passed away, they would take great pride in knowing the program they started continues to grow.
Emily Jacobson, of Antigo, Wisconsin, was born missing her left arm below the elbow and began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities at 6 months of age. She received her first prosthetic arm, her “helping hand,” shortly after her first visit to the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital. By the age of 1, she decided that she wanted to do everything with her “little arm” and stopped using her “helping hand.” Now 19, Emily has spent her whole life feeling proud of her ability to do many things with her “little arm.” From tying her own shoes, riding her bike, and crossing the monkey bars to becoming a strong swimmer and lifeguard, Emily has proven she has strength and a will to succeed.
Emily attended the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital’s Camp Achieve from ages 5-13. Camp Achieve is a day camp for patients with limb differences. Participants spend a week trying new activities that they think they may not be able to accomplish due to missing a limb. One of the huge benefits of camp is giving kids exposure to other children who are “just like them,” as they may not know anyone else with a limb difference from their community. Because Emily holds Camp Achieve so close to her heart, she volunteered as a helper at camp when she was older. She has been an excellent teacher and role model to children who are facing similar challenges due to missing a limb, just like she did as a child. Her passion for advocating for herself and others who are living with limb differences is inspiring.
In addition to giving back as a camp helper, Emily served as a good example and mentor through her swim teams and as a lifeguard. She was the swim captain and inspired her teammates with her ability to compete in all of the drills and strokes. Emily continues to use her swimming and lifeguarding skills at an annual biathlon in her hometown, where she proudly stands at the waterfront, ready to help her community members and friends as they swim.
Emily is currently enrolled at St. Cloud State University where she is studying occupational therapy. Her dream is to be an occupational therapist at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
BACKGROUND: Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system with 22 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Our staff is dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities is located in Minneapolis and has been there since 1923. While the hospital in the Twin Cities focuses strictly on pediatric orthopaedics, other locations in the system treat children in four specialty areas, orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Children up to the age of 21 with orthopaedic conditions are eligible for care and receive all care in a family-centered environment regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.
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. To learn more about Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities, please visit www.twincitiesshrinershospital.org