Re: Why was street closed off at Moraga & 20th

04/08/16 - posted by W.M.

I used to walk (and ride the #28) up and down 19th Ave quite often during the early 1960's, and I certainly remember Shriner's Hospital closing off the 19th - 20th Ave block of Moraga St. The hospital campus covered about 1 1/3 blocks long at that time, but I can't recall which year the new wing was added.

In regards to services provided at Shriner's hospital, I have experienced them first-hand, but not at the San Francisco facility. My son (during the mid 1980's) had problems with both ankles that caused him to have a severe instep. Living in Butte, Montana at that time where there were no real medical and orthotic services that would meet his needs, his pediatrician referred us to Shriner's Hospital in Spokane, Washington. We met with a local Shriner liason who set up all the necessary details and paperwork and the organization paid all travel costs, housing, meals, etc, for the period (which turned out to be 2 weeks) he was hospitalized, and also paid all costs that were not covered by insurance. Thankfully no surgical procedures were necessary, but he needed ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) braces along with some physical therapy to help him get used to them. In addition as he was only 3 years old, he would outgrow them quickly and we had to return to Spokane every six months or so either for adjustments to be made, or for a new pair entirely. The Shriners paid all the same expenses for each trip, even if it was only for one day. Thankfully my son's services were relatively minor compared to many of the other children they help, but I am so very thankful for the great work they do. I met many others during the time spent at the facility, a number of whom were from countries all around the world, and some who needed extraordinary detailed surgeries or other "high tech" procedures that are not available anywhere else.

Like others, I am not really aware of what goes on within the Shriners, or any of the other organizations, but I am truly thankful for their caring and support they provide...

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