In 1982, I became a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield, in Massachusetts. Little did I know that my first visit would pave the way for years of specialized care and lead me to become a Shriner.
Relying On the Experts for Care
At age 5, my doctor in Northern Maine advised my parents that I would need extensive surgeries to correct my orthopaedic issues. Since my parents were unable to afford the necessary procedures, my doctor recommended that my parents contact Shriners Hospitals for Children for assistance. I became a Shriners Hospitals patient, where I was treated for Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome, which caused a deformity in both of my hip sockets and prevented me from walking. For the next 17 years, I underwent a variety of treatments, including 12 surgeries and two body casts. Some of the more unique treatments I experienced were 3-D gait analysis, a functional body brace that I used for two years and numerous advanced shoe orthotics.
Clowning Around for the Kids
I am now 38 years old. I live in Bangor, Maine, with my wife, Dena, and our 5-year-old daughter, Claire, and own a financial services business. I joined Shriners International as soon as I turned 21. I knew 17 years ago that I wanted to help this amazing organization that changed my life. My favorite memories from when I was a patient are the Shrine clowns, so I felt there was no better way to give back than to become a clown myself. I have been portraying “Scooter” for the past 16 years, helping to make patients and families smile.
Scott Boucher with his daughter, Claire
Last year, I worked on organizing a trip for our local Anah Shriners Clown unit to visit the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston and Springfield. Many of my fellow clowns had never set foot into a Shriners Hospital, yet they had dedicated hundreds of hours in support of the amazing work of the hospitals. I wanted my fellow clowns to witness how the hospitals are changing the lives of children, and inspire them to continue on with their great work.
My hope for the future is to continue volunteering as a Shrine clown and to continue educating our local community on the miracles that Shriners Hospitals for Children perform each day. I am forever grateful to the Shriners for all that they did for my family and for me. Without the Shriners and Shriners Hospitals, I would not be walking today.
How to Become a Shriner
To learn how to become a Shriner and help Shriners Hospitals for Children, please visit beashrinernow.com.