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Reader Opinion: Mark your calendars

That is what the Shriners Clubs and members do. They help handicapped children and their families receive medical care to improve their lives and make a positive impact in their lives.

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On Thanksgiving morning, I and two family members headed over to the Armory to participate in the 13th annual Shriner’s Turkey Trot. Our family has made this 1 mile walk or 5k run an annual event as often as we can. Kudos to the Brainerd Shriners Club, KARMA Timing, Kara and Henry, volunteers, participants and community supporters. It was a great way for the hundreds of people that were there to start off Thanksgiving Day. Every penny raised goes directly to the Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis. The Shriners Hospitals serve handicapped children with no cost to their families. I know this personally.

I was born with a deformed right arm and a missing finger on my right hand. In the early 1950s, my parents were invited by a Shriner to bring me down to Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis to see if they could do anything to make my arm and hand more functional. From the 1950s to the 1960s, we would make the annual trip to Shriners where they would take X-rays and data on my arm for future possibilities. Then in the ‘60s, I started having surgeries to improve the function of my arm and hand. I had a total of four surgeries and lots of physical therapy to improve the function on my arm. The longest stay I had at Shriners was my whole ninth grade from September until May. The cost of all the medical care I received to my parents was $0.

That is what the Shriners Clubs and members do. They help handicapped children and their families receive medical care to improve their lives and make a positive impact in their lives.

What can you do? Put this event on your calendar for next year. Thanks to all who have and will do this.

John Ward

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