Shriners snow day brings Christmas cheer to patients

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The Shriners Hospitals for Children held its annual snow day in Honolulu. It was an afternoon filled with snowmen, shave ice and entertainment.

Dozens of kids piled onto the fresh powder in front of the Shriners hospital on Friday afternoon.

It’s a day that means a lot to many families with children being treated at Shriners.

One of those families was the Olson’s. Adam and Kara Olson’s 9-year-old daughter Aja has a rare condition known as brittle bone disease.

“So she looks and stands normal, but she breaks very easy,” Adam Olson, Aja’s father explained. “When she breaks, she breaks big bones like her femur, her hip, tibia and fibula,” he said.

In her life, Aja has had many trips to the hospital. She’s broken seven bones, three of them were her femurs.

“Whenever she breaks, we come here. They do surgeries, they cast her, and they help her with her medicine treatments to help make her bones stronger,” Aja’s mom Kara said.

Aja’s condition is life-long, but the Olson’s say Shriners is giving her a chance at a normal life.

“Without them, I don’t think she’d be walking,” Kara Olson said. “We’re just teaching her how to be safe.”

On the Shriners snow day, Aja had an unusual trip to the hospital, all she had to do was enjoy the snow.

Shriners said the snow day is a chance for patients to just focus on being a kid during the holidays.

“It’s just something really small that we do to make them feel so joyful during the holiday season. I mean there’s no greater gift than that for keiki in recovery,” said Makana McClellan, the Director of Business Development and Community Relations for Shriners Honolulu.

Aja’s parents said the snow day is just a small reason why Shriners is so special to them.

“[Shriners] helps us continue to offer Aja the best life possible, and we are truly blessed to have Shriners as part of our family,” Adam Olson said.

For the Olsons and so many other Shriners families, Christmas came early.

“The best life gift, the best Christmas gift because it makes her happy and it makes her have as normal of a life as we can ask for,” Aja’s mom said about how the hospital has helped her daughter.

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