Turning sixteen is a milestone that many teenagers like to celebrate in a huge way and I’m no different. I want it to be an experience that I’ll never forget. After all, I’ve waited sixteen years for this. With help from friends and my parents, I believe my sixteenth birthday celebration will be a very memorable day.
When my parents first asked me what I wanted to do for my sixteenth birthday, I couldn’t think of anything that would make it any more special than my previous birthdays. I considered a trip to a place I’ve never been or a limousine ride to a favorite restaurant. Those ideas really didn’t appeal to me. Just when I was about to tell my parents to surprise me, it hit me! I wanted a party, but a party unlike a typical sweet sixteen. It will be a charity concert fundraiser.
I chose Shriners Hospital because they are an awesome organization! The Shriners do amazing things. Although they seem to have a lot of fun wearing their red fezzes with the sparkles and their crazy go-cart antics in parades, they do so much more! They have huge hearts when it comes to children. Do you know they provide totally free medical treatment for children from birth to age eighteen? Yes, I said, Free!
Shriners came to my rescue several years ago. When I was seven years old in second grade I began having pain in my feet and legs. Some local physicians had diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis and Sever’s Disease both of which were exacerbated by jumping and dancing on concrete with no shoes. Without boring you with a lot of medical jargon, Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel to the toes. Sever’s Disease is caused by the growth plate in the heel growing faster than the tendons and muscles in the legs. The pain became excruciating! In fact, it hurt so bad that, I could barely walk and had to resort to using a wheelchair. After a period of rest, icing my feet, taking anti-inflammatories, wearing fracture boots with no improvement and all of us feeling hopeless and depressed, someone suggested my parents call Shriners Hospital in Tampa.
The treatment I received at Shriners was amazing! At my first appointment, my feet were x-rayed & then, the doctor sent me straight to the cast room to have casts put on both my legs! I would go every few weeks to have the casts removed, get x-rays, and receive new casts. Once the last casts were taken off I received splints. Oh how I hated those splints! I had to wear them every night to keep my feet in a position that would help stretch my tendons while I slept. Eventually, I was able to stop wearing the splints & received orthotics to wear in my shoes to support my high arches. Thanks to Shriners and all the men who wear the red fezzes I no longer have pain!
All of you are invited to help me celebrate my sixteenth birthday on August 10, 2014 at Shriners Auditorium in Sarasota from 2:00 pm until 7:00 pm. The address is 600 N. Beneva Rd. There will be four bands playing throughout the day: Kim Betts and Gamble Creek, Shotgun Justice, Karen and The Big Bad Wolves, and The Savannah Brady Band with Jami Gee. The tickets are only $20.00 and can be purchased at www.savannahgivesback.myevent.com or at the door the day of the event. The proceeds will go to The Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa. I hope you will join me for my birthday celebration because helping children with medical needs is about as sweet as it gets.
A Follow-Up Note From The Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa: “Over 50,000 children have received orthopaedic specialty care in a family centered environment at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa since opening in October 1985. Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa continues to focus on providing the highest quality pediatric medical care to children regardless of the family’s ability to pay and relies on the generosity of our donors to deliver our mission. Located on the University of South Florida campus, the Tampa location is a major referral center for complex and highly specialized orthopaedic treatment for children throughout the state of Florida and South Georgia.”
Savannah Brady’s Bio:
15 years old, Savannah has studied violin for ten years and guitar for three years. Her violin teacher is Cynthia Wiley, guitar teacher is Jami Gee, and vocal coach is Kodi Sells. She has attended several Suzuki Violin workshops and Sarasota Youth Orchestra’s Summer with the Symphony programs. She has played violin with the North Port Symphony Orchestra, performed in Ladies Sing the Blues, and is a former member of the Jimi Gee Jr. All-Stars. This past winter she had the honor of playing with the Suncoast Super Strings under the direction of Itzhak Perlman. She currently fronts The Savannah Brady Band where she plays guitar and sings. Savannah has also received superior scores for nine consecutive years at the district festival through the Florida Federation of Music Clubs for violin solos. You can find Savannah playing and singing around the community at various venues.