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news News Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:44 PM - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:44 PM

Emily Jacobson

2018 Rainbow of Hope Winner

Emily Jacobson

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities is proud to announce Emily Jacobson as one of this year’s Rainbow of Hope award winners. This prestigious award recognizes three current or former patients for the contributions they have made to their communities and their ability to overcome life’s challenges with a positive attitude. Each winner receives a gift and their names are placed on the Rainbow of Hope plaque in the hospital’s main lobby. The award program was started 30 years ago by former Board member Bill Ash, from Osman Shrine, and Todd Anderson, former director of orthotics and prosthetics at the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital. Although both of these men have since passed away, they would take great pride in knowing the program they started continues to grow.

Emily Jacobson, of Antigo, Wisconsin, was born missing her left arm below the elbow and began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities at 6 months of age. She received her first prosthetic arm, her “helping hand,” shortly after her first visit to the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital. By the age of 1, she decided that she wanted to do everything with her “little arm” and stopped using her “helping hand.” Now 19, Emily has spent her whole life feeling proud of her ability to do many things with her “little arm.” From tying her own shoes, riding her bike, and crossing the monkey bars to becoming a strong swimmer and lifeguard, Emily has proven she has strength and a will to succeed.

Emily attended the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital’s Camp Achieve from ages 5-13. Camp Achieve is a day camp for patients with limb differences. Participants spend a week trying new activities that they think they may not be able to accomplish due to missing a limb. One of the huge benefits of camp is giving kids exposure to other children who are “just like them,” as they may not know anyone else with a limb difference from their community. Because Emily holds Camp Achieve so close to her heart, she volunteered as a helper at camp when she was older. She has been an excellent teacher and role model to children who are facing similar challenges due to missing a limb, just like she did as a child. Her passion for advocating for herself and others who are living with limb differences is inspiring.

Emily was the swim captain on her high school swim team and inspired her teammates with her ability to compete in all of the drills and strokes. She always served as a good example and mentor on her swim teams and as a lifeguard. Emily continues to use her swimming and lifeguarding skills at an annual biathlon in her hometown, where she proudly stands at the waterfront, ready to help her community members and friends as they swim.

Emily is currently enrolled at St. Cloud State University where she is studying occupational therapy. Her dream is to be an occupational therapist at Shriners Hospitals for Children.