Schreiber Pediatric Center - I Love Schreiber Essay Contest winner: Earl Kreider

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June 30, 2016

I Love Schreiber Essay Contest winner: Earl Kreider

Posted by Dan  Permalink 


Earl Kreider, 75
East Earl

Earl Kreider is one of the few people still with us who received services directly from Edna Schreiber. Earl suffered from a rare bone disease that required repeated surgeries and left Earl in a wheelchair. Local doctors didn't know how to help him. Enter Miss Edna. Here is the story of how the forerunner of Schreiber Pediatric, and Edna Schreiber herself, made a difference in his life, in his words.

Earl Kreider visited Schreiber June 25 during our 80th Anniversary Open House.

Edna Schreiber, Miss Schreiber, as I knew her for many years, was the best of the best at everything she did.

In the middle or late 1940s I first learned to know her through the Lancaster County Society for Crippled Children and Adults. I was born with a rare bone disease, Osteo Genesis Imperfecta. We lived along Division Highway, Route 322, in Clay Township, between Lincoln and Clay.

During my childhood, I was confined to a wheelchair until Oct. 14, 1954. That was the date Miss Schreiber had me stand in parallel bars for the first time, and she started the process of teaching me to walk with Canadian-style crutches. Until that time, I had more than 30 broken bones in my legs, and the local doctors were not sure how to treat my condition. They even tried having me eat a banana and take a very large calcium pill every day for quite some time.

I was tutored by a schoolteacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school for my first nine years. I started attending school and riding a school bus in 10th grade at Warwick High School in Lititz and graduated in 1959. I went on to graduate from Lancaster Business College in 1961 thanks only to the encouragement of Miss Schreiber and Mr. Noah J. Furhman, who was the high school principal at Warwick at that time.

Earl Kreider with his team of therapists, including Edna Schreiber, far left.
When Dr. Marvin C. Goodman, an orthopedic specialist, came to Lancaster, Miss Schreiber referred us to him. She and Dr. Goodman convinced my mother and I that they would have me braced and walking if I would listen to them and do everything they told me to do. Dr. Goodman did three operations to straighten my legs, and Miss Schreiber and her Crippled Children Society Staff, which included Mrs. Thompson and Miss Streeter, visited my mother and I each week to make sure that I was doing all of my exercises daily in order to have my legs gain strength.
My father died in August of 1954 and we moved to Brunnerville. In 1956 Miss Schreiber encouraged me to become the Brunnerville correspondent for the three Lancaster Newspapers: the Intel, the New Era, and the Sunday News. I also wrote for The Ephrata Review and The Lititz Record Express thanks to her continued vision and encouragement.
In 1961 Miss Schreiber encouraged me to have Dr. Goodman do a bone graft so that I would be able to walk without braces later in life. I soon learned to drive with hand controls and I was able to, for more than 50 years, work for General Commodity Carriers as a rate clerk and rate analyst/auditor until my retirement.
In 1966, I married Betsy (Good) Kreider, and we have two adult daughters and a grandson and a granddaughter.
Without Miss Schreiber's encouragement, vision, wisdom, understanding, sensitivity and discipline over the many years I knew her and worked with her, God only knows where I might be today! Miss Schreiber was, indeed, "the best of the best" at everything she did!

May God's continued blessings be upon all the work of Schreiber Pediatric, which Miss Schreiber began! May Miss Schreiber's legacy live on and on!

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