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news News Monday, February 8, 2021 Monday, February 8, 2021 8:38 AM - Monday, February 8, 2021 8:38 AM

Mason’s story: An all-star on and off the field

Mason’s story: An all-star on and off the field

Mason, 18, from Lebanon, New Hampshire, has been a patient at the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, since he was 1.

Born without a left forearm and hand, Mason has received more than a dozen prosthetic devices through the efforts of the hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics department and medical staff. As a baby, the devices helped him balance so he could stand and learn to walk. As a child, they helped him grasp every opportunity to explore his world at home and school, and excel in multiple sports. By high school, Mason was a three-sport varsity athlete, competing in football, ice hockey and baseball.

On the ice, a customized prosthetic arm that attached to his hockey stick gave Mason enhanced grip and flexibility. “I noticed an improvement right away in my ability to shoot and pass,” said Mason. “I had a whole new confidence. It was a complete game changer for me.”

On the football field, Mason’s talents as an offensive lineman were recognized when he was selected to play in the 2020 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, an all-star football game that features high school senior standouts from Vermont and New Hampshire teams, and raises money for the Shriners Hospitals located in Springfield, Boston and Montreal. It was a dream come true. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic required the game to be cancelled. “I was devastated when I first heard the news,” said Mason. “But, I quickly turned my focus to helping the hospital that has done so much for me.” He independently raised over $1,600.

Now a freshman at Southern New Hampshire University where he is majoring in sports management and aspires to one day be a professional coach, Mason still plays ice hockey and is trying to organize a rugby team.

The Springfield Shriners Hospital orthotics and prosthetics staff recently outfitted Mason with a custom attachment for his prosthesis that will enable him to lift heavier weights in the weight room.

“Shriners Hospital has helped me have these opportunities in life,” said Mason. “I am so grateful.”