Lower Schooler Involves Community in Her Cause" />
The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Lower Schooler Involves Community in Her Cause

This month, the Fourcast is featuring the writing of fourth grade student Charlsie Doan, the founding editor of “Now News,” the lower school newspaper. She writes for us about her experiences growing up with Symbrachydactily, her treatment at Scottish Rite and the ways in which she continues to give back to the hospital that helped her.

Let’s face it. Across the globe, there are hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of people that are in distress. Some of those people are sick and can’t pay for medicines or doctors to help them. Others are in danger of losing their homes, or their land or their job.  In every second of every minute of every hour of every day, someone out there in the world needs something.

The earlier you learn to find those people and do what you can for them, the better.

Think back. Maybe you were once very sick and a hospital helped you get well. What if you were born prematurely, and needed special medicine and equipment to survive? Maybe a friend comforted you during your parents’ divorce. If you can learn to become one of the helpers and give back to those who helped you, you can change the world, a little at a time.

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I was born with Symbrachydactyly. That pretty much means I don’t have a right hand. I am a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and they have helped me achieve my goals such as playing the violin and doing gymnastics. The hospital has also cared for me the many times I have injured my hand, and put me through physical therapy to try to make my “little hand” stronger, as well as providing emotional help.

Being different on the outside really gives bullies something to tease me about, and some of the things my friends say hurt me, even though they don’t mean to.

Once, our science teacher was answering questions about genes and the birth process, and the changes our bodies go through as we mature, and one of my friends asked, “Why are babies born deformed?” She didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but she did. Later my friend came and apologized, though.

Scottish Rite has helped me deal with incidents like that. They have literally changed the way I live with and think about my disability.

I don’t think about myself as “handicapped” or “disabled.” I think of myself as “special.” Teaching me to think like this is the best thing they have ever done for me. And that’s what they do for every single kid who they treat.

And did I mention that Scottish Rite does it all for free? I wanted to give something back, to try to repay them for all they’ve done for me. So for a while I raised money for KidSwing, an event that supports Scottish Rite. The money raised is used for something different each year. Last year, the money went to the Charles E. Seay Hand Clinic, which is where children like me are treated.

The event was started by a Scottish Rite patient who, like me, wanted to give something back to the hospital. He started KidSwing, a kids’-only golf tournament, for kids ages 7-18. Each player is asked to raise at least $100 for Scottish Rite but many go way beyond that. I have actually raised over $50,000 for the hospital.

In October, my mom and I came up with the idea of doing something with the Lower School for Scottish Rite. I brainstormed with Dr. Holekamp, and we came up with the idea of an art supply drive, known as Crayons for Kids. Our Daisy Bins in Lower School are overflowing with supplies the girls have donated.

By helping people less fortunate than them, kids learn that there is more out there beyond their own little world. Getting out there and learning to give what you have really lets you know that you are not alone on this chunk of rock, that this chunk of rock isn’t yours and that there are people living on this chunk of rock that need you.

– Charlsie

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