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Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Grit and generosity mark Hunter Gulley’s journey

GRC senior shines as patient ambassador with Shriners Children’s Hospital
Photo submitted
Hunter Gulley is honored by the Shriners organization.

A life changing moment, a moment that defines who you are, a moment that gives you a new perspective on life.

Not many people can say they’ve experienced a situation like that, but for GRC senior Hunter Gulley, that moment changed his life for the better.

For Hunter, this moment came with shattered tibias and dislocated kneecaps, but it also came with an amazing relationship that will last a lifetime.

After being injured at a morning football practice, Hunter started on his road to recovery and along the way he discovered a helping hand in the form of Shriners Children’s Hospital.

For the past two years, Hunter has been a Patient Ambassador for the Lexington Shriners Children’s Hospital, a non-profit specializing in children’s orthopedic care.

After being admitted for his injuries, Hunter was recognized by the hospital after his mom posted a video of his progress, and the rest is history.

“Shriners treated me like family and I felt like a top priority with them,” he says. “They showed nothing but love and care for me and my family.”

What ultimately earned Gulley his role with Shriners was his fantastic show of humility and kindness through his recovery.

Hunter was a key player for GRC during his time as a Cardinal. (Photo submitted)

“Hunter is a very humble, mature, generous and sweet kid,” says Whitney Leggett, marketing and communications coordinator for the medical center. “He’s also incredibly dedicated to the things he loves. I remember when he first started working with us as a patient ambassador he was more nervous and unsure of himself but over the last couple of years he has grown tremendously in his confidence, his public speaking skills and his openness to share with others.”

In an effort to highlight Hunter’s story and instill hope in recovering patients everywhere, Hunter was given the opportunity to travel all around the country. Hunter has even gotten to visit Las Vegas to participate in the east West Shrine Bowl, a tournament with college football teams. This is an experience any football fan would dream of but for Hunter it was a reality.

Shriners also led Hunter to a successful journey back into his football career.

“He is really passionate about his family, his friends and the sport he loves – football,” says Leggett. “His team meant a lot to him, and it showed in his determination to recover and get back on the field.”

Gulley just finished up his senior season with GRC as a left guard and defensive end. His dedication and hard work to regain his skill after his devastating injury is truly an inspiring moment for all.

His inspiration has especially had an effect on other families going through similar situations.

Hunter’s job with Shriners Children’s is to share his story, help fundraise, and advocate for positive recovery in sports care.

“Hunter and his family’s willingness to be open about his recovery has offered hope and inspiration to other kids and their families,” says Leggett.

It takes a lot to encourage others, especially when it comes to difficult medical situations, but Hunter was able to go above and beyond with his testimonies to provide a community of strength and inspiration.

One of Hunter’s motivating views is: “You gotta keep pushing, you gotta keep fighting because while you do have people that you can rely on, at the end of the day, you got to push yourself.”

It was this kind of mindset that landed Hunter his Patient Ambassador position with Shriners, and that carried him to full recovery.

Through the amazing staff at Shriners Children’s, Hunter has been able to travel, inspire others and ultimately create new relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.

“My injury was kind of a blessing in disguise because of the relationships that I’ve made, the places that I’ve been, the opportunities that I’ve been given, so it’s overall been a great experience,” says Hunter.

As his time as an ambassador comes to a close it is of utmost importance to recognize the dedication and impact Hunter created through his opportunity of a lifetime with Shriners Children’s Hospital.

You can also check out Hunter Gulley’s incredible story with Shriner’s HERE.

Hunter celebrates Senior Night with his family at Cardinal Stadium.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Harper, Multimedia Staff
Hi, my name is Caroline Harper and I am a part of the Smoke Signals multimedia staff at GRC! I am the number one fan of school food and you will find me in line for school lunch every day. I love to sleep, and my favorite game to play is to wake up as late as possible and see if I can still make it to school on time; somehow I still don’t have a tardy. Some things I hate are math, any room over the temperature of 67 degrees, and slow walkers (I will run you over). On that note some things I love are reading, my friends, and writing, which I can’t wait to show through Smoke Signals!

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    Rod FieldsDec 5, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Awesome story and thanks for sharing!