Peace & Doubt
When most people think of Shriners, they think of the circus and guys in funny hats. I have a much different perspective. When I was just three years old, I bit into an extension cord--never expecting the deadly jolt of electricity that was about to be sent through my body. It happened so quickly, I don't even remember how it felt. I survived the shock, but the accident left my lips molded together at the searing point of contact. When I burned my lip in 1969, the Shriner's Burns Institute in Cincinnati was one year old. They flew me--(and at times my mother) free of charge--to Cincinnati for treatment and check-ups every six months throughout my childhood. Every time I sat in the waiting room to be seen by the doctor, I saw other children all around me who were also burned, some very severely. I realized there was no way I could feel sorry for myself when others had much more difficult challenges to deal with every day. I learned the meaning of appreciation and gratitude while being lovingly cared for at the Shriner's Burns Institute. Over the years, after a series of reconstructive surgeries paid for by the Shriners, my mouth and lips have been restored to very near normal. Life has been a roller coaster ride for me. I'm now living in Denver, Colorado, but I've lived all over the U.S.A. Music was one of the things that kept me going through the rough times. May God bless and keep you. Peace.