This being "Giving Tuesday" today, here is the perfect story to highlight.
Last Sunday, the CBS program Sunday Morning did a special and lengthy profile of Shriners Hospitals' TV spokes-kid, 17-year old Alec Cabacungan. It seems like most Americans recognize Alec from the last five years' worth of commercials he's appeared in, which is no mean feat in the fractured media age in which we find ourselves. Onscreen, he's outgoing, personable, totally genuine, and absolutely memorable.
The commercials have almost always shown him in his wheelchair, but most people have never known why he's in it. This touching segment about Alec explains his disability and physical challenges, which is why he came to Shriners in the first place before becoming a nationally known celebrity at 12. Alec is extremely fragile - in his first 17 years of life, he's already broken 60 bones. He has a rare genetic disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle bone disease. But as you will see in the video, it doesn't stop him.
The end of the CBS piece says it best:
"In this season of giving, we all can receive a little something from Alec Cabacungan – a lesson in what grace really looks like."Amen.
Until 2012, Shriners did not accept payment from patients for services. Since then, due to the massive changes in health care insurance requirements and regulations, the hospitals now bill patients' insurance companies if available, but still provide free care to children without insurance and waive all out of pocket costs insurance does not cover.
If you are interested in joining the Shrine and becoming part of the supporting organization that created this tremendous philanthropy, you should know that all Shriners are first Freemasons and part of our worldwide fraternity.
Today, there are more than 300,000 Shriners who belong to 196 temples in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe, and Australia.
All Shriners are Masons, but not all Masons are Shriners.
For more information visit www.beashrinernow.com.