Health

Household grateful regardless of well being issues – Pittsburg Morning Solar.

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HAYS – The Stanton family has a lot to thank for this COVID-19 Thanksgiving Day.

The month of November includes birthdays for two family members. Andy Stanton is seven years away from open heart surgery. His son Gabe has just received new sleeves for his prosthetic arm through the Shriners. Andy's father, who has health problems, also recently moved to Hays and lives next door. And November is the national month of adoption, which has a special meaning for the family. Mother Dana is adopted and two of the couple's three children are also adopted.

"There is a lot to be thankful for in difficult times," said Andy Stanton.

Gabe, 15, is a newbie at Thomas More Prep-Marian. Gracie Jo, 16, is a junior at TMP. 20-year-old Jackson works in college for one semester. Gracie Jo joined the family in 2005 and Gabe in 2008 from two different regions of China.

"Like many families, we have chosen to expand our family through adoption," said Dana Stanton. "After we got Jackson, we decided to consider adoption."

Gabe didn't know anything else than to live without his left hand and to have successfully adapted to everyday life.

"Throughout his life – swimming, biking, schoolwork, typing on the computer – he's always found a way to make it work," said Dana.

Gabe is reluctant to say, "It just seems fine."

What was wrong with Gabe was trying to lift weights for sports in middle school. Gabe only uses his prosthetic arm for weightlifting, but both of the silicone sleeves that secure the prosthesis to the arm have worn out from repeated use. The replacement costs about $ 1,000, and that's where Shriners Hospitals for Children helped. The Stantons traveled to St. Louis earlier this month and Gabe received two new, improved sleeves for his prosthesis.

"This is the first time he has found something that he needs a little help with," said Dana. "He loved lifting weights. One side got very muscular and the left side not that much."

The Fort Hays Shrine Club also provided support and covered the Stantons' travel expenses to St. Louis.

"For us we are very grateful for our local Shriners and then for the Shriners organization," said Andy. "The hospital was amazing."

Bob Keener, treasurer of the local shrine club, said it was their mission to help people.

"It's an overwhelmingly positive feeling," said Keener, adding that the organization is still providing aid even during the pandemic. "We're still able to provide and do things for others. Moments like Andy and his son, I'm just glad that there are opportunities out there that we can participate in."

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