Do you remember the day you took your first steps as a child?
The day you discovered that, the two objects attached to your legs, that kind of look like the things you use to grab stuff, serve an extraordinary purpose?
Can you imagine how excited and nervous your parents felt, as they watched you try and figure out how to slowly put one foot in front of the other and stumble and fall, like a tiny intoxicated human being trying to walk a straight line?
Until recently, I never put much thought into that day, which is quite shocking because as I child I was born with bilateral clubfoot, a congenital deformity of both feet, which makes it hard and in some cases impossible to walk, if left untreated. This birth deformity causes the feet to point downwards and twist inwards.
Luckily, two months after I was born in June 1992, my doctor referred me to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, a non-profit children’s orthopedic center in Dallas.
I have no memory of the day I took my first steps, nor do I remember the numerous operations performed on my feet for the next five years.
I have no memory of the giant casts put on both of my feet after each surgery, although my mother says that I learned how to walk with casts on my feet. She says I have not been able to stay in one place since the day I took my first steps.
As far back as I can remember I have always been up and walking around. I have always loved to play, jump, climb, run and just move around. I have been waitressing since I was 16 years old and I am now almost 24 years old, so I spend a lot of time on my feet and earn a living that way.
I have never really stopped and thought about how being able to walk is an amazing, often overlooked gift. The day you take your first steps is the start of your independence. A major milestone. And an amazing moment in your parents’ life.
So what made me think about this now? A few weeks ago, my classmates and I were assigned a group project for our international and intercultural communication’s class.
We were told to build a website to help others learn about Masonic societies and explain Freemasonry on both an intercultural and international level. So I went home and started researching the secretive society and a light bulb went off in my head.
I thought to myself, “I have heard about these people before, but where and why?” Then my mother’s voice echoed in my mind.
I remember her telling me one day, “The Freemasons changed your life. They are the reason you can walk. They are the reason I was able to take you to Scottish Rite Hospital as a baby.”
I did a quick google search and contacted the public relations manager of the hospital to find out more about the hospital and my past medical experience.
I learned that Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children was established in 1921 by a group of Texas Scottish Rite Masons, who wanted to treat children with orthopedic conditions regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
Today the hospital is the leading orthopedic children’s center, having treated more than 245,000 children, despite a family’s financial ability to pay, according to the hospitals’ website.
I was fortunate enough to be one of those patients. I am so thankful for this organization because without it and the caring Freemasons I would not be able to walk today. My life would not be how it is at all.
Masonry is a fellowship of men who have dedicated themselves to bettering society. Freemasonry’s single purpose is to make good men better. Masons, in fellowship with the fraternity, must practice moral and ethical truths to serve humanity.
Each Mason is responsible for finding ways to serve their God, their family, their fellow man, and their country. All Masons must acknowledge their responsibilities to serve society and to seek justice, truth, clarity, enlightenment, freedom, liberty, honesty and integrity in the world.
This is why they are deeply involved in helping others. They have established many organizations to aid in their purpose and commitment to the fellowship. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital is just one of the organizations the fraternity has established to help others.
To learn more about TSRH visit http://www.tsrhc.org/about-us
To learn more about club foot http://clubfootclub.org/about/
To share your story of read others visit http://clubfootclub.org/category/stories/