Mitchell and Spencer Cady spend plenty of time on the golf course. But it is the care they receive at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California that inspired their parents, Brad and Marni, to organize a golf tournament to benefit the hospital.
In 2011 Brad and Marni Cady partnered with Granite Bay Golf Club and the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA) to start the Golf 4 Shriners — Gala and Tournament. In its first five years, the tournament and gala raised over $100,000. The tournament celebrates its sixth anniversary today (Oct. 24) as golfers from throughout the region tee-off at the Granite Bay Golf Club to benefit kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
“We don’t know what we would have done without Shriners Hospitals for Children,” says Marni, whose boys are often found at a golf course, basketball court, swimming pool or karate studio.
Both of the Cady boys are patients at the Shriners pediatric medical center in Sacramento. Spencer, age 9, born with a bilateral club feet, was referred to the hospital by his pediatrician when he was only 1 week old. His brother, Mitchell, 11, first came to Shriners at age 5, with cerebral palsy.
There have been hundreds of visits and numerous surgeries. Along with their parents, the Cady boys know the nurses and staff members by name and have made friends with many other patients.
“The thing we appreciate the most is the number one goal always revolves around what is best for the patient,” says Marni. “The fact that the hospital is able to help with both of our children’s conditions has made it even more amazing.”
Dr. Joel Lerman, an orthopaedic surgeon noted for his work in treating children with club foot, examined newborn Spencer and immediately put casts on both legs. For months, Marni took Spencer in weekly for new casts. At six months, he transitioned to Ponseti braces. Four separate surgeries, two on each foot, ensued over the next five years. Spencer was fitted for braces in the hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics lab. He now wears AFO braces nightly and reports for regular checkups every six months.
“All of Spencer’s surgeries were life savers. They allowed him to walk and look and play like a normal little boy,” says Marni. “His legs, due to club foot, would be severely deformed had it not been for Shriners.”
Faced with a mild case of cerebral palsy, Mitchell began physical therapy at age 1 and turned to the school system for therapy at age 3. Impressed by the care her young son Spencer received at Shriners, Marni submitted an application for Mitchell and was referred to Dr. Jon R. Davids, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon noted for his work in using motion analysis to diagnose and treat children with cerebral palsy.
Mitchell’s treatment began with a study of his lower extremities in the hospital’s motion analysis lab. The study showed that he was a candidate for surgery. In September 2013, Dr. Davids operated on Mitchell’s left foot and leg. He was in a cast for weeks before beginning aggressive physical therapy in late October.
“Dr. Davids is a miracle worker. Mitchell can walk normally now, function better and perform everyday tasks better than ever,” says Marni, adding that Mitchell had surgery on his left side and upper extremity about a year after his lower extremity surgery. He sees Dr. Davids for regular check-ups.
In the meantime, Mitchell and his brother Spencer are involved in many activities. Mitchell is in advanced Karate in black belt prep and enjoys playing basketball at the park. Spencer plays basketball and flag football. Both boys are avid swimmers and enjoy trying their swing at golf with their father, former Head Professional at Granite Bay Golf Club and now Director of Operations at PRG Americas.
The Cady family enjoys greeting the golfers at the Granite Bay Golf Club, and they are thankful to all participants for playing to help kids at Shriners Hospital.
“When it comes to children, they get it,” says Marni.