Hannah Grace of Oktaha and Caleb Dorr of Wagoner know their way around the Shriners and the Bedouin Shrine Classic basketball tournament.
The 12-year-olds have been chosen to serve as the poster children for this week’s Bedouin Shrine Classic.
Hannah is the daughter of Mike Grace Jr. and granddaughter of Mike Grace Sr. Both men are Shriners.
Caleb is being honored for a second time. The other occasion was in 2010.
“We are so honored to have Caleb and Hannah as our Shrine Children,” Potentate David Ross said. “Like the other 700 children in northeast Oklahoma, they will receive treatments at our hospital regardless of insurance or ability to pay.”
Hannah suffered a broken ankle that went through her growth plate while playing softball when she was younger, requiring specialized orthopedic care. If that wasn’t enough, she’s a Type I diabetic and has to have six shots per day, and she’s also on a gluten-free diet.
“She’s a very brave young lady and handling it better than I would,” said Katie Grace, Hannah’s mother. “She’s a tough-minded little girl who done all of this with a lot grace.”
Caleb has a genetic blood disorder and was born without bones in his forearms. He has needed many surgeries and bone grafts. He will also to have knee replacements when he gets older.
“He doesn’t remember the first time the Shriners honored him, because he was too young,” said Kim Dorr, his mother. “But he’s excited about this week and being able to hand out the awards to the teams. I think it’s awesome for the Shiners to do this for him. We’re very appreciative what they’ve done for him. We think it’s awesome.”
Entering its 40th year, the Shrine Tournament begins its run today and continues through Saturday with the Civic Center, the high school gyms at Muskogee, Hilldale and Fort Gibson as the sites.
Katie Grace admits her daughter isn’t a basketball fan, but that won’t matter.
“She enjoys it and she’ll get to see people she knows from Oktaha,” Grace said.