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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Meet Alec from Shriners Hospitals

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."

  • Alec is a font of sports trivia and hosts a YouTube sports program from his bedroom studio, called Smart Alec on Sports.
To donate to Shriners Hospitals, visit www.lovetotherescue.org

In 1922, the Shriners dedicated themselves to providing specialized medical care for children regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Today, that philanthropic effort helps support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a health care system with 22 hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Children up to age 18 (and in some cases, up to age 21) with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care. 

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.

1 comment:

  1. My mother volunteered for many years at the Shriners hospital in Shreveport, La. She was so dedicated to the the good work of these Brothers that she stipulated in her will that mourners at her funeral give donations to the hospital instead of sending flowers. It's a truly great thing these Brothers are doing - and have been doing for a long time.


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