Shriners Hospitals Patients Bring Shriners to Tears and to Their Feet at the 2003 International Convention

    MINNEAPOLIS, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- At the annual Shriners International
 Convention this week, two young Shriners Hospitals' patients, Myranda
 Schneider and Dan Caro, thanked the Shriners for helping them live without
 limits brought on by accidents they endured as children. In front of more than
 3,000 Shriners and their families, Myranda and Dan's moving stories were
 unveiled in the new patient success video  "Without Limits."
     After the video, Dan and his bass player, Jonathon Stonbely, dramatically
 emerged from backstage with a full drum set and gave the Shriners a taste of
 his phenomenal drumming talent. Myranda ran to the stage from the back of the
 packed auditorium and threw autographed softballs to the audience. Shriners
 and Ladies gave these two youngsters a teary-eyed standing ovation.
     Twelve-year-old Myranda Schneider was only two years old when a typical
 day playing in the yard ended in tragedy. Her little foot got trapped
 underneath the blade of her father's riding lawnmower. She was taken to a
 hospital in her hometown of Salina, Kan., where doctors performed an
 amputation on her right foot at the base of her calf.
     Soon after the surgery, Isis Shriners stepped in and sponsored Myranda at
 the St. Louis Shriners Hospital, where she will receive prosthetics and expert
 medical treatment free of charge until she turns 18.
     With the help of Shriners Hospitals, her supportive family, and Myranda's
 own positive attitude, she excels in almost everything she does. She has never
 wanted people to think she can't do something because of her disability.
     "We never told her she couldn't do something," said Myranda's mother,
 Stacey. "Because she's proven to us that she can."
     Today, she is an outgoing seventh-grader, straight-A student and avid
 softball player. She is regarded as one of the best pitchers on her softball
 team, as well as an inspiration to both her teammates and opponents.
     "Myranda is such a special kid. After a while I could see that one leg
 wasn't going to hold her back," said Myranda's softball coach, Bill Weaver.
     Another Shriners' patient, Dan Caro, has also been called an inspiration.
 Dan's life changed drastically when he was two years old and severely burned
 when the pilot light of a hot water heater ignited gasoline fumes in the
     He was transported from his hometown of New Orleans, La., to the Boston
 Shriners Hospital, where he received numerous reconstructive surgeries and
 treatments throughout his childhood. Aside from burns covering 70 percent of
 his body, Dan also lost his right hand and part of his left hand in the fire.
     In the early '80s, a special reconstructive surgery was performed on Dan's
 left hand, giving him use of a moveable thumb. The results of the surgery
 allowed Dan to do something he had always dreamed of doing: playing the drums.
 Dan uses the new thumb to grip one drumstick, and attaches a drumstick to his
 other hand by using wrist bands and rubber bands.
     "I would come home from school and practice and practice and practice,"
 said Dan. "In the beginning, I wanted to prove to myself that I could conquer
 something extreme."
     Dan attended Loyola University on a music scholarship and won a spot on
 the coveted Loyola Jazz Orchestra. Today, at age 22, Dan performs in his own
 jazz band, called Brotherhood of Groove. His talent for the drums has been
 called nothing short of amazing.
     The Shrine of North America is an international fraternity of
 approximately 485,000 members who support Shriners Hospitals for Children.
 Shriners Hospitals for Children is a system of 22 of the most technologically
 advanced pediatric hospitals in the world, with an active patient roster of
 more than 188,000. Shriners Hospitals provide care to children under the age
 of 18 with orthopaedic problems, severe burns and spinal cord injuries,
 regardless of race, religion or relationship to a Shriner. All medical care
 and services at Shriners Hospitals are given at absolutely no charge.
     If you know a child that Shriners might be able to help, call the toll-
 free referral number at 1-800-237-5055 in the United States or 1-800-361-7256
 in Canada, or visit our web site at

SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children

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