Matt Aldridge would have trouble contemplating life without the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, South Carolina.
Aldridge, 28, and his 21-month-old daughter, Maddie, were born without shinbones. Both had their legs amputated at Shriners near their first birthdays. Like all care given to youths admitted to any of North America's 22 Shriners Hospitals, their surgeries and follow-up treatments were free to them.
Aldridge estimates the care he received through his teens in the Shriners' system -- which admits children irrespective of their parents' income -- cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, approaching the lifetime limits of some insurance policies. Read full article »