2013 Kerbela Shriners Poster Child Bailee recently visited with the Morristown Shrine Club to tell the group about her story and thank the Shriners for helping children like her. Morristown Shrine Club is a local county shrine club that is part of Kerbela Shriners of Knoxville. Visits like this allow the poster child to meet with Shriners on more of a local basis in a small group setting.
Bailee is a beautiful and energetic 8 year old girl with a big smile and outgoing personality. She is Kerbela Shriners Poster Child for 2013. Bailee was born with a condition of her left leg called fibular hemimelia. Basically it means that the fibula bone in her leg was not there. Her foot only had 4 toes and was turned. When initially discovered before she was born, Doctors thought it was a club foot or similar condition that could be treated and corrected.
Shortly after birth and more investigations, a Doctor told her parents that the condition was different and more serious than first thought, and the only options were amputation of her foot and part of her leg or painful procedures for many years with no promise of success. The amputation was performed when she was 4 months old and now she would need a prosthetic leg and foot. Her parents did not have insurance that would cover the expenses for her treatment, so they had to sacrifice nearly all they had to buy her first prosthesis. So much for a tiny leg, but it what they must do.
Her mother met a Shriner outside a store during Kerbela’s annual Paper Sale and made a donation from their minimal resources. She only knew it helped children, but not how. The Shriner asked about Bailee’s condition and how she was receiving treatment. When it was explained to him that it was very costly and she did not know how they would be able to continue to buy the prosthetic frequently necessary for a rapidly growing young lady.
Bailee was immediately referred to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Lexington Ky. Where she received the evaluation, treatment, and correct size prosthetic she needed. She is continuing treatment and is participating in gymnastics as well as competing—due to a new rule on competitions allowing her to do so. It is called the “Bailee Rule”. She runs and plays like any other child her age and enjoys her little brother Isaac. She says she does not feel any limitations to what she can do with her new leg and foot.
Shriners are members of a fraternal organization supporting The World’s Greatest Philanthropy—Shriners Hospitals for Children. There are 22 Hospitals in the US, Canada, and Mexico that provide orthopedic and burn care for children under 18 regardless of the patient or family’s ability to pay. Read the rest of Bailee’s story and other stories of local children helped by Shriners Hospitals for Children and Kerbela Shriners in Kerbela’s Annual Shrine Paper Sale which will be May 13-19 2013. Watch for the Shriners collecting donations for this important cause. Please give so that other children like Bailee can receive the care they need.