Sunday, June 2, 2013

Walking away on the Final Foot

This past week I walked away from Shriners Hospital on my final foot. Literally. For the past 19 years I have been making trips down to Shriners Hospital, initially for my amputation, sometimes to get my prosthesis lengthened because I was growing, more than once to get a new foot because I broke the current one completely off, sometimes for surgeries, and sometimes just to make sure everything was working well. These trips were usually made with my mom or my grandma and never passed by without a stop at the Old Spaghetti Factory! I've had 5 different prosthetists over the years and 18 different legs. I've broken foot after foot after foot. Once I even broke my entire leg in half during gymnastics! And Shriners has always been there to help.

I honestly don't know what I would have done without Shriners' Hospital. Most people have no idea what Shriners is and that's really a shame because it is an AMAZING organization. Shriners' Hospital for Children specializes in the treatment of children ages 0-18 years old with burn injuries, neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and other special healthcare needs. There are 20 different locations throughout the United States and they serve patients from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Panama. Now ready for the most amazing thing about Shriners' Hospital? It is a non-profit organization. They do everything for free! Everything. If you remember from my earlier post, I have 18 prosthetic legs. Since I am a below-the-knee amputee my prostheses are a lot cheaper than the ones that require the knee component. Each one of my 18 legs costs between $5,000 and $15,000. Yep. I could trade one in for a car. Or three. So that makes the total cost of my legs at least $90,000 plus the cost of my surgeries. There is NO way that my family could have covered those costs. Shriners is seriously a blessing in my life and the lives of so many others who are in the same situation.

Because it is a non-profit organization a huge part of their funding comes from donations. If you would like to learn more about or donate to this amazing organization, just click here.

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