By Jamie Wintinger
Ella Wintringer is 10 years old and a member of the Skating Club of Western New York in Buffalo, New York. She started on the ice when she was 5 years old and fell in love with the sport. Ella also loves to read, play her flute, practice Tae Kwon Do and play with her new puppy Penelope. She has two brothers; Andrew and Joshua who love watching her figure skate. Ella has skated twice at the New York State Empire Games in Lake Placid, NY on former Olympic ice and in February 2018 placed 3rd in her Freeskate program, qualifying for the 2019 State Games of America.
Ella’s figure skating hasn’t always been easy because of her medical disorders. When Ella was 3 years old she became very sick with motility problems that led to a long journey involving numerous hospitalizations, various hospitals, specialists, tests, procedures, surgeries, medications, etc. that did not make Ella better. In 2013, Ella was referred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center and we experienced the amazing Ronald McDonald House in Columbus. This past fall, Ella had her lower gastrointestinal tract reconstructed and the House became our home away from home. Ella had repeat motility testing and an intensive colorectal program which required us to be there for two weeks in April. These two very long stays were much easier to get through with the wonderful volunteers at the House supporting us along the way.
Even our short trips for doctor follow ups over the years are just as amazing! The House creates a comfortable environment for friendships to form between suffering children and Ella has always left having made a new friend or enjoyed a new experience. Our family is so thankful for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Whenever we return from an appointment, test or surgery in Columbus, Ella laces her skates and glides onto the ice like nothing ever happened. Skating is her passion and provides a place where she can leave all of her medical worries at the rink door. Skating truly heals! Ella is extremely excited to be a part of Skate It Forward and support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio!
We learned about Skate It Forward at Ella’s last two-week stay in Columbus while we were looking at the House’s Facebook page. We saw they shared something from Skate It Forward. We were interested and approached a staff member at the House. We wanted to give back to RMHC because Columbus’ Ronald McDonald House has been so amazing and generous to us over the years! (Ella’s brother has also been a guest there when he had to come for testing to see if he had the same disorders as Ella.)
Skate It Forward presented Ella with the opportunity to skate her Obladi Oblada Freeskate program in their show on Satruday, June 16th! Ella is beyond excited for this incredible opportunity! It is the perfect combination. Skating and giving back to the community are two of her favorite things! She has given back to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center, locally to Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and to Make-A-Wish of WNY, so adding Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio to her give-back projects was absolutely perfect!
We hope to see you at the rink!
Editors Note: If you would like to attend the Skate it Forward event, click here for tickets.