Popcorn and gumballs.
That is the smell that 10-year-old Vivi Sorrow remembers from her time at Scottish Rite for Children. Vivi was born with hip dysplasia, a condition that required extensive hospital time until age 2.
Her mom, Cinco, remembers the first few years of her daughter’s life as a time of learning, fear and growing hope as treatment went on.
Developmental dysplasia of the hip occurs in about 1 in every 100 infants, according to Scottish Rite. Hip dysplasia refers to the abnormal relationship between the ball and socket of the hip joint or an abnormal shape of the socket or the ball.
During treatment, Vivi went through braces, traction and surgery on her hip followed by full and partial body casts. Her last surgery and cast finished right before her second birthday. Now, Vivi returns to the hospital every six to 12 months months for checkups with many of the same doctors and nurses that started working on her case almost 10 years ago.
Vivi is a high-spirited girl. After years of hospital visits she can do all of the things a healthy 10-year-old can do with no restrictions. She loves to climb trees, compete with her swim team and chase around her Siamese cat, Katy Purry.
And that, Vivi says, is what makes the hospital a “miracle workshop.”
One thing about Scottish Rite that stuck out to Cinco was that if families couldn’t pay for their child’s care, the hospital covered it. But the care itself wasn’t the only cost. With Vivi’s casts, for example, she couldn’t fit in regular seats. Cinco had to order specialty chairs shipped in from another state. Vivi had to be seated for most of the day, and the chairs were essential.
“The chair is where she would sit, eat, play, do activities,” Cinco says. “We don’t know what we would have done without these chairs.”
The Sorrows donated Vivi’s old ones when she no longer needed them, but a chair that a toddler spends every waking moment in doesn’t last forever. After a few uses from other patients, the donated chairs were no longer usable. And new ones came with a hefty price tag.
Vivi and Cinco wanted to give back and make sure other families had access to new chairs, so the duo teamed up and got to work. Vivi started a lemonade stand on their Lake Highlands street that she called Sips for Hips and the Sorrows met with a local manufacturer, Mecca Designs, to brainstorm features to add to new chairs.
Vivi has held several lemonade stands over the last few years, raising around $500.
The designs include several must-haves, according to Vivi.
“They have cup holders,” she says, which are perfect for drinks or “lots of goldfish.” They also have handles and a tray with a chalkboard.
Vivi didn’t stop giving back there.
This year, Vivi was selected as one of Scottish Rite’s Junior Race Directors. The directors act as ambassadors for the hospital at fundraising races like the BMW Marathon Festival. At each race, Vivi and her fellow Junior Race Director, King, talk about what they love about Scottish Rite, take turns blowing the air horn to start the race, cheer on the runners at the finish line and put medals around finisher’s necks.
You can spot Vivi at the marathon, held the weekend of Dec. 8-10. The 10K, 5K, 5K team, 5K walk and 100 yard dash are on Saturday, and the full, half and ultra marathons are on Sunday.