Mary (Circa 1940s)

Disclaimer: The following was excerpted from an article in the Capper Foundation Archives. The choice of words used at the time this was written may not reflect current Capper Foundation inclusive language and views.

Mary (Circa 1940s)

In the humble home of a Missouri mechanic, there was born some seventeen years ago a girl whom we shall call Mary. As she began to walk, her back became more and more crooked and gave her untold trouble. Her hip joints spread out in an unnatural manner, causing her to be “squatty,” “swaybacked” and generally unpleasant to look upon, although she was bright mentally and had a sad but winning smile which never failed to excite sympathy. 

The local Rotary Club had an active “Crippled Children’s Committee” which arranged for a clinic in the little town and invited an eminent orthopedic surgeon. Of the children examined, nine, including Mary, were found to be in need of hospitalization because of various types of handicaps.

Parents were unable to pay for the needed treatment and the combined expense was far more than could be met by the limited budget of the Rotary Club. But fortunately The Capper Foundation for Crippled Children had been receiving generous contributions from you and other friends. It was able to accept all nine of the little patients and pay the expense of hospitalization and medical care. The famous doctor operated then made further adjustments. There followed months of anxious waiting at the hospital to see what the outcome would be. When finally Mary was released, she was a new girl. Her back was straight and her hips were strengthened, she stood erect and faced the future with a confident smile!

In the twelve years that have passed since Mary entered the hospital a dejected cripple, she has grown into the tall, attractive high school senior shown in the picture. She says, “I live with my parents and I have the pleasure of enjoying life as an ordinary girl of my age. Mary delights in volleyball and other sports. She says, when she reaches eighteen, she hopes to begin studying to become a nurse.