Meet the 2023 Co-Chairs: Peter Rondeau and Stephanie McCarthy
After meeting five and a half years ago when they signed up for the Massachusetts State House running club, Peter and Steph quickly bonded over their love of running and their unique connections to the Shriners Hospitals for Children system. Reflecting on this active introduction, Peter quipped “I’ve been chasing her ever since!”
At 3 years old, Peter sustained second- and third-degree scald burns over one third of his body. After two hospital transfers, he arrived at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, and was an inpatient for about a month while he received our highly specialized burn care. During that time, Peter had skin graft surgery and worked with the rehabilitation team to learn to walk again. Peter was discharged just before Christmas that year, but needed to return frequently for physical therapy and ongoing scar management until he left for college.
Reflecting on her own personal connection to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Stephanie admires the dedication of her aunt, who was a nurse at Shriners Children’s New England for almost her entire career. Stephanie’s aunt traveled all over the world to participate in outreach clinics, which connect children in need with the services provided at the Boston and Springfield Shriners Hospitals. Because Steph and her aunt are so close, she has always had a special place in her heart for the Shriners Hospitals for Children system.
As adults, both Peter’s and Steph’s appreciation for the Boston Shriners Hospital has deepened: “I was a patient so long ago and I was so young that there is a lot I don’t remember, but I know that I received excellent care from everyone – from the nurses to the doctors, including Dr. Sheridan,” Peter said. “Even to this day, whenever I see a new doctor and they see the work that was done, they remark that it must have been done at Shriners.”
Even though Stephanie only met Peter as an adult, she understands why he credits his active life to the care he received at the Boston Shriners Hospital throughout his childhood. She’s excited to share what world-class care for an injured child can mean for the patient’s adult life, and thinks Peter’s experience will inspire other kids and adults as they learn about the Boston Shriners Hospital.
Their deep personal connections to the Boston Shriners Hospital have led Peter and Steph to us as one set of co-chairs for the 2023 Boston Haunted Walk! They have committed to fundraise over $10,000 to support our mission to provide high quality, wrap-around pediatric burn care, reconstructive plastic surgery, and cleft lip and palate care at the Boston Shriners Hospital, regardless of families’ ability to pay or insurance status.
Meet 2023 Co-Chairs: The Griggs Family – Nathan, Jenny, Scarlett and Daniel
In 2020, Nathan and Jenny were introduced to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston when their daughter Scarlett accidentally burned her feet in the ashes of a fire pit that was extinguished the night before. After bringing her to their local hospital, Scarlett was referred to the Boston Shriners Hospital for specialized pediatric burn care.
Jenny and Nathan were impressed by the warm, family-centered wrap-around care that both Scarlett and they received at the Boston Shriners Hospital. Scarlett was treated on the inpatient unit for three weeks. She recalls her hospital experience in such a positive light that she always wants to know when she can go back for a return visit. “She asks us when she can see her doctors and nurses. It is a completely different type of relationship which makes the idea of future surgeries much more palatable,” Jenny shared.
Reflecting on how their son Danny reacted to Scarlett’s injury brings affectionate smiles to Jenny and Nathan. Because Scarlett was burned during COVID, big brother Danny couldn’t visit his sister in the hospital, but that didn’t stop him from feeling very protective of her. Jenny recalled, “I think Danny understood the seriousness of what had happened to his little sister, and did anything he could to help his family.” When Scarlett came home from her inpatient stay at the Boston Shriners Hospital, Danny welcomed her home with a cake. While she was rehabilitating, he helped her by walking and dancing with her, and he explained to his friends what happened to his sister and why she was in a boot or a cast.
Now a happy, active 4-year-old, Scarlett loves running, dancing and spinning. Jenny and Nathan attribute her current active life to the emergency surgery she received the day of her accident, as well as subsequent surgeries and skin grafts. The care team led by Dr. Robert Sheridan, chief of staff and director of the burn service, and Dr. Dan Driscoll, plastic surgeon, has provided the family with optimism and individualized treatment for Scarlett every step of the way. She will continue to receive care at the Boston Shriners Hosptial throughout her childhood.
In 2022, the Griggs attended the Boston Shriners Hospital’s annual fundraiser — the Boston Haunted Walk. Jenny recalled, “We feel like we are part of the Shriners famiy and want to give back. And of course, who doesn’t want to celebrate the fall season and Halloween? We all dressed up and came with our family and friends. It was really special to see some of our care team outside of the hospital.”
The Griggs are only one of many patient families that treat the Boston Haunted Walk as a Boston Shriners Hospital reunion! Grateful for the world-class specialty burn care that Scarlett received, they are leading the way as Boston Haunted Walk co-chairs, aiming to fundraise more than $10,000 to support our mission to provide high quality, wrap-around pediatric burn care, reconstructive plastic surgery, and cleft lip and palate care at the Boston Shriners Hospital, regardless of families’ ability to pay or insurance status.
Sunday, October 22, 2023
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