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DL Shriners to hold free evaluation clinic for kids

The Detroit Lakes Shrine Club is sponsoring a free Orthopedic Evaluation Clinic for Children on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Mahube Community Council headquarters on West River Road.

At this clinic, children from newborn to 17 years of age can be evaluated for a variety of muscle, bone and joint problems, by a specialist from the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Paul.

It's the third year in a row for the clinic in Detroit Lakes.

If your child's problem is something that is treatable at the Shriners Hospital, they may be referred there for further evaluation and treatment.

Examples of treatable illnesses, injuries and other conditions include: Arm, hand, foot and leg deformities, missing limbs, or differences in limb length; arthrogryposis (stiff joints); cerebral palsy; hip problems; juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; myelodysplasia, spina bifida; neurological disorders; osteogenesis imperfecta; post-traumatic deformities; plastic surgery and burn scars; rickets; spinal deformities; and sports injuries.

"It is a free service -- there is no charge for anything," said Chuck Magnusson, a member of the DL Shrine Club who has been organizing the DL clinic for the past couple of years.

"If the child needs surgery or orthopedic devices (such as prosthetics or crutches), that's free too," said Magnusson. "The Shriners provide everything... because we are privately funded, all care at Shriners Hospitals for Children is provided at no cost."

There are no economic requirements or restrictions for participation in the clinic, other than that the child must be between the ages of 0-17.

"It's open to every race, color, creed -- we do not discriminate against anybody," Magnusson added, noting that there are no economic guidelines to qualify for treatment.

"It's something we feel is a wonderful thing to do -- to be of benefit to children in need," he said.

For those families that are not able to afford housing in the Twin Cities while their child is being treated at the hospital, the Shriners offer free apartment housing near the hospital campus.

"If the apartments are full, we use the Ronald McDonald House at the University of Minnesota -- and vice versa," Magnusson added. "They're only a couple of miles apart."

The severity of the problem is also not an issue. "They take on the toughest cases and do wonders with them," he said. "In the 21 children's hospitals that the Shriners own, they've probably done more fantastic work for children than any other hospital in the country."

While he was living and working in the Twin Cities several years ago, Magnusson used to give guided tours of the Shriners Hospital, on a volunteer basis. "It's a terrific place, and a very worthwhile program. We love doing it."

The clinic will run from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, at Mahube Community Council, 1125 West River Road, Detroit Lakes. To schedule an appointment, call Magnusson at 218-846-0009 or 701-866-3724. Walk-ins are also welcome on the day of the clinic.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454