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Mon., March 30, 2009, 1:25 p.m.

Shriner’s Hospital Future Bleak

Just got a news alert from the S-R saying that Shriner's Hospital may close.  (

I was born with curvature of the spine and not really bothered by it until I was in fourth grade.  Add to that being pigeon-toed, so much that I had to wear orthopedic shoes.  They were profoundly ugly shoes, too, for a nine-year-old.  I was afraid I would be ruined for life with those ugly shoes.  (I write about them at

Before the shoes, I spent a few days at the Shriner's Hospital.  No surgeries – just tests.  Checking my back.  Checking my feet.  Checking my legs.  There were dozens of kids there my age – many paralyzed with polio.  Shriner's has been an indelible part of Spokane.  I can't imagine where these children will go without Shriner's.  This "recession" is like a bad cancer, metastasizing into the bone

I am worried!  Hospitals are laying off because of unpaid patient bills.  Shriner's may close.  The Post Office is laying off several hundred people.  Where is this let-us-call-it-what-it-really-is depression taking us?

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.