Graduated from Shriners


The below message was sent to
our national (Shriners Hospital)

Once again we had a
positive impact on the life of a patient.

I really want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Yesterday (February 27th) was a very special but bitter sweet day.

It was the day I had been looking for my whole life.

Never did I think that I would feel how I felt.

Yesterday I graduated (sort of) from Shriners Hospital. After 21 long years

I had my last doctor’s appointment to get my lower teeth.

It was mixed emotions to say the least.

(Though I still have to go back for a final closure and final pictures).

I was born with cleft lip and palette.

My father was approached by a Shriner while he was working.

He told him that he wanted to sponsor me when I was about 9 months old.

From then it has been a very long road. From checkups,

surgeries to follow ups,there were days where I never thought I would be done.

From either getting lucky and flying or having to drive 8 hours to get to Chicago,

It was all worth it in the long run. You never realize how much children can influence you.

From being a small child in the waiting room waiting for surgery

and you find yourself around children your age,

going through the same thing,or having the same surgery. It’s almost a comfort.

Though seeing other children there that are going through something totally different,

but you sit there and talk to them to see what there going through.

As we get older you see different kids some just starting there long journey,

some finally getting done with everything.

Once I got older there were more girls and guys with the same thing.

Then we started comparing scars and which nurses we liked and didn’t like.

Those conversations may seem small to others but to kids like us it was everything.

It was something to get our minds off what was soon to happen,

or they gave you tips for an upcoming surgery that you were going to have that they had.

It was especially helpful for me because,well I’ve never been to fond of needles.

Once we were finally out of surgery,

the people that were in the same waiting room you usually ended up

near them whether it was the same room or a couple rooms down.

I remember my last surgery we went and checked on each other.

We bonded and it was amazing.

I’m so thankful to have been sponsored by an amazing Shriner.

He passed away a few years ago.

But because of him,my life has been changed for the better.

What you do is truly life changing. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

What your organization has done amazing things for me.

I’m truly forever thankful for everything!

Thank you,

Rachel Luken

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