Grand Almoner's Fund Makes Service Dog Possible in Valley of Steubenville

Victoria Duhamel of Steubenville, Ohio was given much more than she had expected when she reached out to Scottish Rite to asking for help to get a service dog.

"I have something called LAM – lymphangioleiomyomatosis," said Duhamel. "It’s basically a genetic mutation that causes my lungs to replace my lung tissue with muscle tissue so I have no oxygen transfer.” 

Now, the nine pound oxygen tank she carries on her back will be a weight lifted off her shoulders—literally—with the help of a check from the Grand Almoner's Fund that is making a service dog possible. 

Said Deputy Representative of Steubenville Edsel Emery, "The check we are able to offer is substantial, and it was very much beyond what I thought we could do here at the Valley. We have the Grand Almoner's Fund to thank for that.”

Duhamel's father-in-law and husband are both Freemasons, and it was through them that she asked the Fraternity for help. "At the start I asked, ‘would the Fraternity be able to help me?’ and well, it kind of snowballed from there.” Duhamel said.

They didn’t imagine the Supreme Council through the Grand Almoner's Fund would answer in such a big way.

"I was astounded,” Duhamel said. “Total shock. I had no idea that they were going to help out that much.”

After receiving good news just last week, Duhamel received the $9,000 check at a small presentation ceremony at the Scottish Rite Temple in Steubenville. 

"It would have been a huge struggle for the Duhamel's to get Vicki her dog," said Emery. "We made a huge difference in her life last night.

"It was, for me, one of the most memorable moments in my Masonic journey. I am so very proud of the Scottish Rite." 

"It's an amazing feeling to know that the Masons and the Scottish Rite thought that my condition was worthwhile enough to help me out like that,” Duhamel said. "I am so grateful." 

Duhamel's story and the check presentation was featured on the local news. You can click on the image to watch the coverage.

If you would like to help the Grand Almoner's Fund continue to change the lives of Brother Masons and their families you can donate easily and safely at DonateRite.org

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