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Seated to Standing. The Story of The Machine.


Registered User
Hello Everyone, pleasure to be here.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Josh I am a newly raised master mason at my lodge as of 7/23/19 and just turned in the work as of 8/13/19. I am currently 25.

My interest in freemasonry began much younger than most at the age of 11. You see I was born with a condition known as Cerebral palsy with a moderate severity level that affected my legs and balance. Because of this I was never able to really walk. I was a very melancholy anti social person with me always having to be in a wheelchair or try hopping in crutches. I got made fun of and bullied often.

My parents helped me find soap box derby and join the special division for the disabled. That first year I placed 2nd among the entire division with a very heated set of races between me and the 1st place finisher. We talked a bit afterward and I discovered he was like me. He had the same disability that affected him similarly but he could walk. I asked him why he could walk and I couldn't. This was the first time I heard of the Shriners hospitals for children.

Months pass as 11 year old me in 2005 continues to look up information on this group of hospitals. I discovered many things including that the shriners were masons. One day I had a very bad day and my grandad called me and told me out of the blue that one day I was going to walk and that I would do something great. He passed a week later in December of 2005 without warning in his sleep. 3 months later in March I had my surgery at the Shriners hospital in Shreveport.

2 years passed as I was recovering for this surgery I went through and I finally took my first legitimate steps at the age of 13. I trained and worked hard to be completely independent in my mobility. Years later I never forgot what those shriners and the hospital did for me and who they were. I began to look heavily into joining masonry at the age of 18. Eventually at 24 one of my good friends and a former coworker got me a petition and I was initiated. This same year I became an endurance athlete and distance runner training to be one of the very few with my condition and possibly the only one with my severity level to complete a full marathon and have my name written as an official finisher.

I've done two official 5ks and have a 10k in November. I train everyday running on my forearm crutches and this is when people in the community started calling me "The Machine." Because I just keep going and going for several miles a day. I became a mason so that I could give back to the community and help children like me have the same opportunity I was given.

Masonry gave me the greatest gift in my life before I even knew what it was and now I get the joy of paying it forward the same way.
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Matt L

Site Benefactor
Welcome to the forum Brother Grimm, what an amazing path you've traveled. You story is inspiring, and we must do a better job at letting folks know how Freemasons touch the lives of so many people everyday.

Mark Stockdale

Premium Member
Welcome Brother, a truly inspiring story