Maria was born with one leg shorter than the other.

As a toddler, she would not walk because it caused pain to her hip and she cried with frustration. Her mother heard about the Casa Franciscana trips to Phoenix for specialized medical care. She took Maria to our clinic where she was enrolled in the Shriners’ program.

After several X-rays and other tests, the child was given a special pair of shoes made for her with the one heel elevated to accommodate her disability. Over the years she has had several shoes made as she grows. The long range plan is a surgery when she is older to lengthen the leg. In the meantime, this child walks, runs and plays pain free with no hint of an incapacity.

If you ask Maria her favorite part of the Shriners’ visits she will tell you it is the payasos or clowns who are Shriner members that come to the clinics and make balloon animals for the children. Although shy, it does not take much to get a smile from Maria.

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