NOTE: Interviews with Jérémy available upon request
CALGARY, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - On Saturday October 13th, Shriners Hospitals for Children®- Canada patient, Jérémy Gabriel (15 years old), will take part in the Calgary-based Al Azhar Shrine Temple's bi-annual nomination of new Shriners. Jérémy will close the evening's festivities by performing two songs; Whitesnake's Here I go again and Michael Bublé's Sway, no small feat for the young man who was born completely deaf. He will also speak of his experience and represent Canadian patients from coast to coast, who receive care from the national hospital.
In July 2012, Jérémy Gabriel was selected as one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children® patient ambassadors for 2012-2013. Every year, two patient ambassadors are chosen to represent the thousands of children who receive care at the health care system's 22 facilities annually. Throughout the year, the ambassadors share their stories in order to inspire others and raise awareness for the hospital system.
Bill Miller, Shriners Hospitals for Children- Canada Board Member and member of Calgary's Al Azhar Shriners, stated "We are looking forward to having Jérémy visit the Calgary temple and share his story with our new Shriners; it will give them the opportunity to see with their own eyes what our philanthropy is all about. This young man's life was completely changed thanks to our Shriners hospital, and I think it is very important to share that message."
Jérémy added "I am so honored to be invited to Calgary to speak on behalf all of the Canadian patients. It is truly amazing for me to meet the men who dedicate time, hard work and give so much to benefit children from across the country. I am really looking forward to expressing my gratitude, sharing my message of hope to all other kids in need of care and singing for everyone!"
Jérémy' Bio - The Artist:
He has sung for both Céline Dion and the Pope; he has recorded two albums and co-authored a book. He was born deaf. Jérémy Gabriel was born prematurely with severe facial malformations and other complications requiring intensive care. Jérémy was finally diagnosed at 6 months with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. In addition to head, skull and facial deformities, children with this condition generally have absent or malformed ears, which can cause hearing loss.
Jérémy was referred to Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada at the age of 5 for treatment. There, the family met Lucie Lessard, M.D., a plastic and craniofacial surgeon. Dr. Lessard suggested a BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) Implant which would allow him to hear. Thanks to a special program funded by Daughters of the Nile Canada (international charitable organization of women related to Shriners); Jérémy received his implant in June 2003, at age 6. After the surgery, Jérémy was fascinated with sound, and discovered he could sing. In fact, he has perfect pitch. Jérémy is scheduled for additional facial reconstructive surgery in the coming months. "Without the life changing BAHA implants thanks to the Daughters of the Nile, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Dr. Lessard, I would have never been able to hear, let alone sing" expressed Jérémy.
Jérémy now attends a high school specializing in performing arts, where he is an excellent student. He is preparing for a career in the music business.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Canada
Located in Montreal since 1925, Shriners Hospitals for Children- Canada is a bilingual, short term, acute care centre providing pediatric orthopaedic ultra-specialized care for complex disorders such as osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), severe spinal and limb anomalies, reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. Children from across Canada, the U.S. and around the world have benefited from the hospital's ground-breaking research and innovative treatments, both in Montreal and in their own communities.
NOTE FOR MEDIA: On Saturday October 13th, at Al Azhar Shrine Temple, located at 5151 101 St NW in Calgary, Jérémy will be available for interviews upon request in the afternoon and/or following his performance in the evening (Please contact Emmanuelle Rondeau or Bill Miller).
SOURCE: SHRINERS HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN (CANADA)
For further information:
Communications & Marketing Manager
Shriners Hospitals for Children®- Canada
Office: 514-282-7222/Cell: 514-207-2267
Al Azhar Shriners (Calgary, Alberta)
Cell: (403) 651-6571