Because of You, Amaya Can Get in the Game!


Global Heroes 002 - September 2020 - Shriners_Shriners Logo
© Roger Aziz Photography

Biking, swimming, basketball…these are just a few activities that most kids get to participate in without pain or limitations. Being diagnosed with Spondylometaphyseal dysplasia (a rare bone disorder) at a very young age, Amaya and her family were not sure that these types of activities would be possible for her.

Amaya was first referred to Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada by her pediatrician when she was just 2 years old. Her mother had expressed concern after noticing that she wasn’t sitting up quite straight. After many appointments with a variety of specialists, and undergoing a series of tests, they received a diagnosis. “The diagnosis was just the beginning,” explains Amaya’s mother Shari. “It was a major learning curve for us, with a lot of reading and research on a condition we had never heard of.”

Fortunately, Amaya and her family had the support of Canada Shriners Hospital, not only for her treatments but also for their availability to answer the family’s many questions. “They are always there to answer questions, even after our appointments, because when you receive all this information for the first time, you don’t always have all the questions right away,” Shari explains. “We can always come back and ask. And if someone doesn’t have the answer, they will find someone who does.” Since beginning her journey at Canada Shriners Hospital, Amaya has undergone five surgeries; three on her lower limbs, and two on her spine. Nothing stops her or diminishes her positive spirit, however. “It’s not easy being in and out of school. She’s still one of the brightest kids in her class. She always focuses on the positives and she doesn’t let anything stop her,” says Shari.

Amaya, now eight years old, is continuing her journey with Canada Shriners at her side and is making great strides. She has less pain and more confidence when doing everyday activities. She loves to play all sports—basketball, karate, biking, and swimming. She also is a big fan of video games, science, and inventing! “She is very active,” Shari continues. “She will try everything at least once. And even if she can’t do it right away, she will keep trying.”

Throughout this holiday season, we will be sharing meaningful stories from our inspirational patients who want you to know how much your support makes a difference in their lives. To watch Amaya’s story, as well as those of some of the other exceptional patients we proudly treat, we invite you to visit our “Because of you, I CAN” campaign website. This holiday season; give the gift of exceptional care.

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