Shannon has worked in our department as a nurse for almost nine years. She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a child and has endured exacerbations throughout her adult life so severe that she has even had to travel to Mayo for specialized treatment. One of the GI nurses asked her initially if she would talk with one patient in particular who was struggling with their disease and the thought of it being with them "forever.” Shannon met with the individual and offered hope and encouragement to not only the patient, but their parent as well. The mother wrote a beautiful thank you letter to Shannon which would bring tears to your eyes. Shannon has suffered greatly with her Crohn's but continues to work and provide exceptional care to her patients and families each day she walks through the doors of CMH&C. She is always cheerful and works hard, even on days when she herself has tremendous pain. She never complains, but knowing her well I can tell by her smile when she is hurting - yes, she is always smiling! The fact that she spends her lunch break or after-work time, encouraging others with her same disease, makes her an extraordinary nurse and human being. She talks with them about their struggles, but encourages them by all that she has accomplished. They see what she has done and is doing with her life and that gives them hope - aside from a cure, isn't that one of the greatest, if not the greatest gifts we can give to any chronically ill child and their parent?